Di Bonaventura Pictures,

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville, Rodrigo Santoro, Jaimie Alexander, Luis Guzmán, Eduardo Noriega, Peter Stormare, Zach Gilford, Genesis Rodriguez

Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) is the leader of the largest drug cartel in Mexico, but he’s in prison in the US. During a transfer from his cell in Las Vegas he makes a spectacular and daring escape. Obviously his henchmen, of which there are an army, are ready for whatever happens to lead him home. Meanwhile, Sheriff Ray Owens is retired from his LAPD detective position where he’s seen way too much crime and suffering, and has settled in to the sleepy little town of Summerton Junction, right on the Mexican border. The FBI is convinced Cortez is running to the border crossing, but Summerton has no border crossing so it seems that is not even an option, but Sheriff Owens smells something fishy and uncovers their plot to spring Cortez across the border, but it won’t be without a fight if the Sheriff and his band of deputies have anything to say about it.

This is simply an action film. There have been lots of these, and this is Arnold’s first attempt back on the big screen since his last role as the Governor of California. It tanked in the box office, and I’m not really sure why. Of course I didn’t plunk down my money to see it in the theater either, as I guess I expected it to stink as well as everyone else. I’m kind of sorry the word of mouth didn’t bring this film the attention it deserves. Now granted, the story is a straight line cat and mouse chase without a lot of twists and turns in it. It’s not very cerebral in that sense, just an action film like many of the Arnold films of old. But there is a great deal of care given to developing the characters, from the bad guys to the good guys to the better guys. The attention to the depth of character means that we really can despise the villains, and cheer the heroes. Arnold, of course, is sick and tired of all the violence, and looking just to settle down in peace, but he’s tough as he needs to be in the end. But his collection of curious town folk and deputies are really well developed. We get to know these people, and care about their survival. Everyone does their best. Johnny Knoxville is mostly known for being a fool, as part of the Jackass gang. But Johnny is the weakest character in the film, and that’s too bad because he really does an excellent job. Obviously he’s going to play a joker, but he’s as good a comedy sidekick as they come, and he should have been given much more to do in this film. The little bit they did give him he plays flawlessly. Forest Tucker is also underused in the film, but I understand that he’s just there to play the sincere but incompetent FBI leader to Arnold’s bad ass sheriff. He does that well enough in the end. All in all, this is a fireball of action and masterful driving of a couple really awesome cars. It is what it sets out to be, a high speed rollercoaster ride from start to end, and it does it very well. I enjoyed this movie.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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