408) The Last Action Hero (1993) Dir: John McTiernan Date Released: June 1993 Date Seen: November 21, 2009 Rating: 3.25/5
Though Lethal Weapon creator Shane Black's rewrite of Zak Penn and Adam Leff's script for The Last Action Hero was in turn later rewritten un-officially, Black's finger-prints are all over the blustery, too-cool-for-school action spoof. The Last Action Hero is, in patches, a fairly entertaining, though patently cynical, parody of the amped-up excesses of Hollywood action films in the late '80s and throughout the '90s. Trouble is, it's also often off-puttingly smug and overweeningly cocksure and only modestly funny, a hallmark of Black's overheated comedy of cliches. He spends so much time winking at the viewer in his jokes that he effectively sucks all the fun out of his jokes, which are all decent, though mostly unmemorable. Still, any excuse to watch a semi-self-aware Arnold Schwarzenegger confront his own immateriality is a good one. Hell, any excuse to watch Arnold just do his thing, really. The man really is the most charismatic member of the "None Of Us Do Our Own Stunts" Club that ruled Hollywood actioners for so long.