- LAST ACTION HERO
- Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austin O’Brien
- Directed by: John McTiernan
- Rated: PG 13
- Running time: 2 hrs 10 mins
- Columbia Pictures
It was THE movie event of 1993. A movie starring the world’s biggest action star, directed by the guy who directed “Die Hard,” and featuring an amazing array of celebrity guest stars. Hell, they even launched a rocket into space with the film’s title on the side. That film was “Last Action Hero,” and, at a cost of $85 million was one of the most expensive films made at the time. Even though it made over $134 million world-wide, it was considered a dud by the bean counters in Hollywood and was not met well by critics. However, as a 32 year old movie theatre manager, I LOVED IT. Almost 30 years later, I still love it.
Danny (O’Brien) is a young boy who lives with his mother and spends most of his free time at the movies, where he has made friends with the projectionist, Nick (Robert Prosky). One of the benefits of the friendship is Danny being allowed to screen new films before they open. This night he is getting set to watch the latest Jack Slater adventure, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Nick give Danny a “magic ticket,” goes into the booth and starts the film. But tonight is different. Danny isn’t watching the movie, he’s IN the movie.
A fun buddy comedy (even though there is 30 years age difference between the buddies), “Last Action Hero” is everything it was advertised to be, which made its poor box office in the U.S. surprising (it mad $15 million it’s opening weekend but ended up only making another $35 million before it was out of most theatres). The fun comes from the fact that Jack Slater (Arnold, of course) has never heard of Arnold Schwarzenegger. He thinks Danny is just some crazy kid who somehow ended up in the back of his car during a high speed chase.
Jack thinks Danny is delusional. A trip to the video store features a lobby display for TERMINATOR 2, but this version stars Sylvester Stallone. Introduced to another cop (F. Murray Abraham), Danny instinctively recognizes him as the guy who killed Mozart in “Amadeus.” Having never heard of the film, Slater tells the cop that Danny thinks he killed someone named Moe Zart!
The fun continues until the pair chase a baddie (Dance) back into Danny’s world, where Slater learns that you can’t punch a window without cutting yourself and you are no longer magically bulletproof.
The film is an amazing combination of action and humor and one that doesn’t live up to it’s rep. Check it out with an open mind and I think you’ll agree with me.
Both the picture and sound on this release are amazing and the film comes in a special steel case. This is a fun film I highly recommend.
Commentary with Director John McTiernan
Deleted & Alternate Scenes
“Big Gun” Music Video by AC/DC
Original Behind-the-Scenes Featurette