Last Action Hero (1993) Directed by John McTiernan
a jpoc movie review
Young teen's action comedy.
Main Cast
Arnold Schwarzenegger Jack Slater/Himself
Art Carney Frank
Charles Dance Benedict
Robert Prosky Nick
Austin O'Brien Danny Madigan
Ian McKellen Death
Joan Plowright Danny's Teacher
My Rating & viewing notes
Four out of ten.

I watched the DVD version of this movie at a friend's home in Munich in 2002.

If you must, you can buy the film from: Soundtrack
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The jpoc review
Movies about movies generally run a serious danger of ending up as either fatuous, pretentions or even both. "Last Action Hero" plants tongue firmly in cheek and just about manges to carry it off. The movie is basically a vehicle designed to allow Arnie to be his standard invincible action cop character but to have a kid in tow as his partner.

The kid, Danny Madigan (Austin O'Brien) is a young boy obsessed with his favourite movie character Jack Slater (Arnold Schwarzenegger.) One night, Danny's friend Nick (Robert Prosky) a movie projectionist gives Danny the chance to see a sneak preview of the latest Jack Slater movie. Nick also gives Danny a magic ticket which manages to take the boy out of the real world and into the movie where he becomes Slater's partner as they attempt to track down the bad guys who killed Slater's favourite second cousin Frank (Art Carney.)

On the way, the evil assasin Benedict (Charles Dance) slips through into the real world and Danny and Jack must go back and track him down in order to stop him from wrecking all kinds of havoc in Danny's world. On the way they get into the full range of set piece action movie scrapes all of which are hammed up as pastiches of the genre.

It's hard to comment on the quality of the acting because, basically there isn't any. Schwarzenegger just hams up a parody of his normal roles and Dance does a similar job as the evil killer. The same is true of everyone else whose character comes from the "movie" side of the script. The real world characters do OK but with the exception of the child lead, none of them has anything more than a cameo role, including the inestimable Joan Plowright who pops up in one scene as Danny's teacher.

The movie is reasonably well put together and it pulls all the right strings, keeps the action going and delivers the expected action stunts with explosions aplenty, cars and bodies flying though the air and a plethora of "A Team" style sequences. It makes for a light hearted way to spend an hour and a half but that is all and in the movie world scale of things it is no more than a minor distraction.

Viewed as no more than a way to pass the time, it is a success but that is the limit of this movie's achievement.