Last Action Hero

1993

Action / Adventure / Comedy / Fantasy

103
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 41% · 54 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 48% · 100K ratings
IMDb Rating 6.5/10 10 164649 164.6K

Director

Top cast

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Jack Slater
Persia White as Persia White
Jean-Claude Van Damme as Jean-Claude Van Damme
Sharon Stone as Sharon Stone
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 2160p.BLU.x265
878.33 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
PG-13
23.976 fps
2 hr 10 min
Seeds 42
2.41 GB
1920*800
English 5.1
PG-13
23.976 fps
2 hr 10 min
Seeds 32
6.34 GB
3840*1606
English 5.1
PG-13
23.976 fps
2 hr 10 min
Seeds 15

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by BandSAboutMovies 7 / 10

A fun movie that wasn't ready for its time

After Terminator 2: Judgement Day, the monolith known as Arnold Schwarzenegger could do no wrong. But where do you go after you move from Austria to here with no money, take over the world of bodybuilder and then become the biggest movie star in the world?

You make fun of yourself.

That's where the original script for Last Action Hero - written by Zak Penn and Adam Leff - came in. Penn has since gone on to write PCU, X2, X-Men: Last Stand, The Avengers, Ready: Player One and Elektra while directing his own movie, Atari: Game Over. Leff hasn't been as lucky, as his only other writing credits are PCU and Bio-Dome. That said, their screenplay was set in the movie world and concerned a hero named Arno Slater who tries to deal with the never-ending world of violence that takes the lives of everyone around him. Pretty much, it's a meta-aware Shane Black parody.

How weird is it that Black was brought it to do the rewrite, leading to Penn and Leff only getting a story - and not a screenplay - credit?

In Nancy Griffith's How They Built the Bomb, the reasons for this film's failure go beyond it's biggest issue: was it a comedy or an action movie? Sure, it could be both, but the film seems wildly schizophrenic in what it wants to achieve. What are the rules in Jack Slater's world? What are the rules in the real - real as in the movie - world? Why can some people keep their powers and Jack can't? What the hell is going on here?

The issues that Griffith pointed out include Universal moving Jurassic Park to a week before this film would open, negative publicity caused by initial screenings going so poorly, an out-of-control ad campaign that included a NASA rocket that never launched with the movie's logo and being the first film released in Sony Dynamic Digital Sound, which didn't even work in the tiny subset of theaters that even had this set up.

A $26 million loss and the first real bomb on Arnold's record. It stung.

Let me set that up even better: it made $137 million at the box office (over $220 million in today's money) and still was a loser, thanks to the budget, the overruns and the advertising.

Arnold even placed the blame on a shifting geopolitic theme in the United States, telling Business Insider, "It was one of those things where President Clinton was elected and the press somehow made the whole thing kind of political where they thought, "Okay, the '80s action guys are gone here's a perfect example," and they wrote this narrative before anyone saw the movie [...] The action hero era is over, Bill Clinton is in, the highbrow movies are the "in" thing now, I couldn't recuperate."

Danny Madigan (Austin O'Brien, Prehysteria!) is a kid living with his widowed mom (Mercedes Ruehl) in the dingiest, most crime-challenged part of New York City. He escapes by watching Jack Slater movies and gets to see the new one when Nick the projectionist (Robery Proskey, Gremlins 2) gives him a ticket that once belonged to Harry Houdini.

This ticket allows Danny to enter the world of Slater, where he meets his talking cat Whiskers (Danny Devito!) and wonders about his friend John Practice (F. Murray Abraham), who Danny instantly doesn't trust because he was also Salieri, the man who killed Mozart in Amadeus.

Of course, because this is a movie, Slater's supervisor Dekker (Frank McRae, playing a role named for Fred Dekker and basically playing the exact same part that he did in 48 Hrs.) assigns Danny as the supercop's new partner and sends them after mobster Tony Vivaldi (Anthony Quinn!?!).

After plenty of 80's cop hijinks, Charles Dance - as henchman Benedict - gets the golden ticket and leaves for our world, stranding Danny, Slater and his daughter Whitney (Bridgette Wilson). And Benedict hatches a plan - kill Arnold so that no more Slater movies can be made. And that means that Tom Noonan can show up as Slater's big bad, the Ripper. Man, Tom Noonan can be in every movie ever as far as I'm concerned.

The moviemakers wanted Alan Rickman, who was too expensive, so they got Dance instead, who showed up with a shirt proclaiming "I'm cheaper than Alan Rickman!'

Also: Death from The Seventh Seal shows up and instead of Bengt Ekerot, it's Ian McKellen. This movie plays fast and loose with cameos, with everyone from Tina Turner (the mayor of Los Angeles), Sharon Stone (playing Catherine Tramell from Basic Instinct), Robert Patrick (as the T-1000), Sylvester Stallone as a Terminator, Maria Shriver, Little Richard, MC Hammer, Leeza Gibbons, James Belushi, Damon Wayans, Chevy Chase, Timothy Dalton, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Wilson Phillips showing up.

What can you say about a movie that was still filming a week before it was due in theaters? This was a film against incredible odds, odds that got even worse when negative press got in the way. Director John McTiernan would tell Movieline, "Initially, it was a wonderful Cinderella story with a nine-year-old boy. We had a pretty good script by Bill Goldman, charming. And this ludicrous hype machine got hold of it, and it got buried under bs. It was so overwhelmed with baggage. And then it was whipped out unedited, practically assembled right out of the camera. It was in the theater five or six weeks after I finished shooting. It was kamikaze, stupid, no good reason for it. And then to open the week after Jurassic Park - God! To get to the depth of bad judgment involved in that you'd need a snorkel."

McTiernan would follow this up with Die Hard with a Vengeance, so that worked out a bit better for him. Then again, he'd also film the bombs Rollerball and The 13th Warrior.

Sadly, Arnold would later say that this was the beginning of the end of his movie career. But you can't make a movie this big in nine months. Seriously - it just doesn't happen.

But hey - you can see both Art Carney and Professor Toru Tanaka in their last roles. And it's not a completely horrible movie. It just doesn't know what movie it wants to be. And when that much money is on the line, this is what happens.

Reviewed by seanjenson 7 / 10

Underrated and needs a reappreciation

This movie came when Arnie was at the height of his career and popularity. However Last Action Hero not only bombed at the box office it was a critical misery as well. However the film is being rediscovered and some have even asked for it to be reconsidered as if not a highly good satire, then at the very least a fun enjoyable charming film of the early 90s. Admittedly, this is not a good action film. Given its billing, director, and title, that's a surprise. On the other hand, Last Action Hero works as an unexpectedly witty comedy.

Reviewed by CuriosityKilledShawn 8 / 10

An intelligent, under-rated and over-looked satire

It's sad to think that 18 years after its release Last Action Hero is still trying to find its target audience. Audiences don't like smart movies. Or perhaps I should say audiences don't like to be OUTSMARTED by movies. In the summer of 1993 the world was going crazy for a certain dinosaur movie, almost everything else didn't stand a chance. LAH came out a week after Jurassic Park. The only people who really went to see it were those who were too late for sold-out screenings of Spielberg's movie. Bad word of mouth spread for many reasons.

Those lucky enough to actually see it on the big screen walked away confused and disorientated. They thought they were in for a straight-up action movie, not an existential, meta-fictional parody of the genre they cherish. It was just too much and they weren't ready for it. Arnold had been riding the wave of Total Recall and Terminator 2 before the release of Last Action Hero, no one expected such a radical deviation from the norm.

Danny Madigan is a lonely kid living in a tiny New York apartment with his single MILF. His only friend is Nick, an old-time projectionist at a run down theater (a REAL theater, no multiplex nonsense). Danny likes to escape into the world of action movies, his biggest hero, obviously, being Arnie himself. The latest Arnie blockbuster, the simply-titled Jack Slater IV, is a day away from its premiere, and old Nick has been tasked with checking the print. Before Danny sits down for his own personal pre-premiere midnight screening Nick gives him a magical ticket he's been saving since childhood. Five minutes after Jack Slater IV begins Danny is warped into the cinema screen and becomes part of the movie.

In the movie world Danny quickly learns that the laws of physics and simple logic don't apply (how often has THAT proved to be true?). He's partnered with Slater, a renegade L.A. cop and the absolute zenith of action hero stereotypes, to find who killed his favorite second-cousin Frank (BIG MISTAKE!). Danny and Slater smash their way into a hokey, James Bond-ish plot, though it's not long before suave English henchman Mr. Benedict discovers Danny's secret and plans to escape to the real world. Danny and Slater follow, but Slater's movie-world abilities are rendered useless in reality. Doubt begins seep in for the first time as he ends up questioning his powers as a good cop.

Last Action Hero scores huge points all round. It's technically wonderful, with gorgeous anamorphic Panavision photography full of wide angles and lens flares. The writing is sharp is funny. Arnie is great as an infallible hero in crisis as well as making fun of his screen persona. And the action, both fictional and meta-fictional, is wild, overblown, and exciting. I just love Slater's huge fall from the elevator.

It's interesting to note that it has a lot in common with Loaded Weapon, which came out earlier that year. Both are send-ups of the 'L.A. cop movie' genre, both star F. Murray Abraham in supporting roles. Both feature Frank McRae as a screaming Lieutenant. Both have obvious Die Hard references (also directed by the infamous John McTiernan).

The bad reputation is unjustified. The financial loss was a mistake entirely on Sony's part and their lack of foresight into the 1993 summer season. Last Action Hero and Jurassic Park went head-to-head with their advertising but the dinosaur movie's marketing campaign was just too groundbreaking. They also competed with each other on a technical level. JP was the first film to feature DTS sound, while Last Action Hero was the first to feature SDDS (Sony Dynamic Digital Sound), an eight-channel system that delivers every decibel of Slater's big gun and the multiple explosions of his daily life.

It may be a satire, but Last Action Hero just may be one of the last true action films. Real stunts, real explosions, real destruction, reality gone twisted. It's Arnold's most subversive movie, and it's many things, but bad ain't one of them.

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