Dub Cee Reviews: Last Action Hero (1993)

Director: John McTiernan

Writer(s): Zak Penn and Adam Leff (Story), Shane Black and David Arnott (Screenplay)

It has been fun but it is time to wrap up this mini tribute to Arnold Schwarzenegger with a movie I think is much like Commando in that it is fun but not good perse.

Plot line is simple. We have a kid named Danny Madigan (Austin O’Brien) who is overly obessessed with his favorite action star Jack Slater (The Arnold). Danny frequents this rundown movie theatre ran by Nick, played by Robert Prosky…not to be confused with Art Carney who is also in this flick. Nick gives Danny this magical ticket which, it turns out, allows its holder to enter the movies. Thus now Danny is in the Jack Slater movie. He can survive here by just sticking to the action movie clichés.

Ok, now that the story wrap up is done, we can get to the point of the movie which is basically mocking the entire action genre that Arnold helped create.  I respect and appreciate the fact that Arnold was mocking himself this entire movie…but most of the jokes miss. There are some nice moments such as follows.

Slater is about to walk away and turns around saying:

Jack Slater: I’ll be back! Ha! You didn’t know I was gonna say that, did you?
Danny Madigan: That’s what you always say!
Jack Slater: I do?

Danny Madigan: People always wait for you to work it in. Its like your calling card!

Later Danny is playing “chicken” on a bicycle against a car:

Danny Madigan: This is gonna work. It’s a movie, I’m a good guy. This has got to work!
[Danny thinks again]
Danny Madigan: I’m a comedy sidekick. Oh, shit! I’m a comedy sidekick! IT’S NOT GONNA WORK!

And my favorite and the most infamous line of the movie…

Jack Slater: You’ve seen these movies where they say “Make my day” or “I’m your worst nightmare”? Well, listen to this one: Rubber baby buggie bumpers!

There is a joke about being away to wipe away tar with just a paper towel or how Slater’s daughter just happens to show up with a change of clothes, etc. Similar plot holes to what I talked about in my Commando review. Most of the fun is in the breaking of the fourth wall. For example, Danny references Die Hard, if you listen for it, seconds later a clip of the Die Hard theme can be heard. Actually…looking for those references and the many cameoes is probably more fun than actually watching this movie.

Overall, the movie is rather dull but again, I respect that they are mocking the very vehicle that made them stars so I will be kind with my final grade. C-

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3 Responses to “Dub Cee Reviews: Last Action Hero (1993)”

  1. Last Action Hero is a guilty pleasure for me. I’m an Arnold mark, so I couldn’t hate this movie even if it was by all means a bad movie. I loved the action movie satire and Arnold being Arnold. Sue me.

  2. chainsawcheerleader Says:

    I saw Last Action Hero in the theater when it came out. I was so young and it was so long ago I honestly do not remember it being satire. I just remember not liking it. I’ll have to give it another shot. Maybe now that I am older I’ll be able to see the satire.

  3. This was a long shot for my guilty pleasures list. Anything Shane Black writes is going to have some good in it. Last Action Hero ultimately doesn’t work because it ends badly and moves to quickly away from the satire in a rather jarring pace. There’s some parts that are very good, though. I always thought this was overly hated. Then again, I have a soft spot for Hudson Hawk too, so what do I know.

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