It has been a while, but as time has passed, one of the most celebrated action heroes returns to the big screen. Arnold Schwarzenegger makes his comeback in this action fest of mayhem with South Korean director Kim Jee-Woon at the helm. I believe this was a wise choice, as the film seamlessly flowed and the story was to the point and spot on. This was Kim’s USA directorial debut.
It was equally nice to see Texas native Forest Whitaker in this film, he plays Agent John Bannister. He is in charge of tracking down Gabriel Cortez played by Eduardo Noriega. This psychotic drug cartel lord makes his way south to the Mexican border, trying his best to dodge the law driving a modified Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1. This character is over the top crazy, and with his mad driving skills from the pro racing circuit in South America; he reaches speeds upward of 200 MPH.
Meanwhile, he kidnaps agent Ellen Richards played by actress Génesis Rodríguez (daughter of José Luis Rodríguez ‘El Puma’). He stops at nothing to reach his destination. There is however one law man who refuses to give up. This is where Arnold Schwarzenegger steps in playing Sheriff Ray Owens, a small town type character with experience from his earlier days. Some of the scenes were quite amusing and gives this story some real character.
It is apparent that Arnold was in mind for this story, catering to his strong points, but they let the rest of the cast carry most of the weight for this storyline. Certainly you can see how much Schwarzenegger has aged as time has passed as he even makes fun of this within the film. With long clothing on, his physical physic remained hidden. Since the days of Conan the Barbarian, which was released back in 1982, there is definitely a different man standing on the screen.
Arnold has always been a unique presence on the screen and has become a Hollywood icon over time. He has collaborated again with longtime rival and friend Sylvester Stallone on the upcoming release The Expendables (2014). It seems the Terminator is getting his groove back in tinsel town.
This film has a number of other actors in it including veteran actors Luis Guzmán, who plays Deputy Mike Figuerola and Harry Dean Stanton who has a small role as Mr. Parsons. Titos Menchaca plays the Mayor, Peter Stormare plays Burrell, Jaimie Alexander plays Sarah Torrance, Zach Gilford plays Jerry Bailey, Chris Browning is Pony Tail and daredevil/actor Johnny Knoxville plays wild gun museum curator Lewis Dinkum. His demeanor was reminiscent of Ted Raimi in Xena: Warrior Princess (1995) as Joxer.
I think most people should find this to be an engaging action feature, with enough of a story to keep you wondering how it will conclude.