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Last Action Hero
1993 - PG-13 - 100 Mins.
Director: John McTiernan
Producer: John McTiernan
Written By: Shane Black, William Goldman, Zak Penn
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, F. Murray Abraham, Austin O'Brien, Anthony Quinn, Art Carney, Ian McKellen, Robert Prosky, Mercedes Ruehl, Joan Plowright, Noah Emmerich, Bridgette Wilson, Chevy Chase, James Belushi, Sharon Stone, Danny DeVito, Robert Patrick, Damon Wayans, Jean-Claude Van Damme
Review by: John Ulmer
   
I liked this movie. I admit it. I know it is one of the most critically-made-fun-of movies out there, but I can’t help but enjoy Arnold Schwarzenegger’s self-parody.

Perhaps you have to be a bit of a fan to enjoy the jokes. I don’t know. I just know that I laughed while I watched this film.

Sure, it slows down throughout and gets a bit tiresome, but don’t ALL movies? I’ve never seen a movie that’s been absolutely perfect throughout. There’s no such thing. Even my favorite movies are not absolutely perfect. Now, “Last Action Hero” is not one of my favorites, but I sure did enjoy it.

It involves a young kid who receives a magic ticket from the owner of an old, run-down movie theater. The owner says that Houdini gave the ticket to him when he was a kid, but he was afraid to use it. So, for no reason at all, other than being nice, he gives it to the kid as he enters to see the newest Jack Slater movie, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

And that’s where it happens.

The kid is transported into the movie - into a movie with Schwarzenegger. Only one problem. In this world, Schwarzenegger really IS Jack Slater, and thinks that the world he is in is real. Now they must hunt down a drug lord who killed Arnie’s – er, Slater’s – favorite cousin.

The thing that is so enjoyable about “Last Action Hero” is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s actually quite original and refreshing, and a well-made parody on the film industry.

At one point in the film, Jack Slater gets into our world and makes his way to the premier of the latest Jack Slater flick – attended by real-life Arnie. So, of course, Jack and Arnold bump into each other. That’s what’s so nice about this movie. They play on the whole Schwarzenegger franchise. The fact that Jack Slater can visit the real Arnie, attending a Slater movie that he starred in is just fun. It’s a bit like “Back to the Future” and such movies, where the possibilities of what you could do are endless.

I think another interesting aspect of this film is that it is one of the ONLY movies I have ever seen where an actor has actually played himself. Schwarzenegger plays Schwarzenegger at the premier of his movie. I’ve never seen this done before in mainstream Hollywood.

It is simply a fun movie to watch. It’s not great, and sometimes it gets a bit odd, but usually it’s a clever parody that many people do not see through to.

TOO MANY PEOPLE DO NOT LOOK DEEP INTO THIS MOVIE. They just expect an Arnold Schwarzenegger flick with big explosions, when the fact of the matter is that “Last Action Hero” is so much more. It is a parody of Hollywood and actors. It is a self-parody, as well. It is just misunderstood, as crazy as that may seem.

With cameos from the likes of James Belushi, Jean Claude Van Damme, Maria Shriver, Sharon Stone, Robert "T-1000" Patrick, and many, many more actors and actresses, this is a film you must see at least once. It’s not great, but it is definitely underrated.

I enjoyed it; it’s a satirical parody of the film industry that everyone should look deeper into next time they watch it, or the first time they view it.
 
Movie Guru Rating
Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not.
  3 out of 5 stars

 
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