The Last Stand
You have probably had hundreds of experiences with Chekhovs gun rule even if you are not entirely sure what it is, and if you watch action movies then you have absolutely been subjected to Chekovs rule. How does it feel to have Chekhov fiddling around with your brain without your knowledge? The rule goes something like this: “If a gun is visible in a film/play then at some point in that film it must go off”, the rule is supposed to stand regardless of if the gun is mounted on the wall in some grand hallway, or stashed under a drug dealers grungy bed in a shoe box. It relies basically on the principle that movies and plays are fundamentally constructed and that if a gun is present it has to have been placed there for a reason. Unlike say, a toilet roll tube, for which there are millions of possible uses, guns tend to only get fired. Why this lengthly and rather uninteresting discussion of Chehovs gun rule? Well, very few people know this, but there is a sub-rule, a lesser known variant if you will, and it reads thusly: “If an apparently ancillary character happens to, for some reason, own a large collection of vintage firearms – labeled for tax and licensing reasons as a ‘museum’ …” well you can probably guess the rest. Such is the absolute ridiculousness of The Last Stand. Its fantastic. It has everything you ever really wanted from and Arnie film. I think though, all the brilliant craziness is down to director Kim Jee-Woon, who bought us one of my favorites of 2008, The Good, the Bad and the Weird. You can certainly sense his influence in a film thats basic premise relies on a Chevy zr1 being faster than a helicopter (it isn’t, even if it is ‘heavily modified’ to over 1000 bhp). He really doesn’t want to let too much reality get in the way of a good tale. Gun museums and wildly inaccurate top speeds are all part of the fun. In fact, they are a requirement, this much silliness is the only thing to distract you from the fact that Arnie is in his mid sixties and doesn’t even take his shirt off. He still got it though, hocking around a 44 magnum like its nothing. Good old Arnie.