Last Action Hero

Forget JURASSIC PARK. If you're fascinated by life-forms destined for extinction, look no further than Arnold Schwarzenegger, as presented in LAST ACTION HERO. HERO claims to be a gentle, playful parody of the action/adventure genre, but comes off as a mercenary attempt to cash in on summer moviegoing habits. Action films pull in large audiences, mostly...read more

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Forget JURASSIC PARK. If you're fascinated by life-forms destined for extinction, look no further than Arnold Schwarzenegger, as presented in LAST ACTION HERO.

HERO claims to be a gentle, playful parody of the action/adventure genre, but comes off as a mercenary attempt to cash in on summer moviegoing habits. Action films pull in large audiences, mostly comprised of young men; non-violent films clean up in the family market. How to combine the two? Make

an action movie in which the violence has no edge, since it takes place in a fictional world, and team your macho star with a young, fatherless child (Austin O'Brien) and a struggling single mom (Mercedes Ruehl).

If this sounds like naked calculation, it is. LAST ACTION HERO is a marketing idea with no real film to back it up. The central premise--that people can cross over from the real world into the world of moviedom and back--is borrowed from PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO and mercilessly flogged to death. The

relentless in-jokes and filmic references suggest, not a joyful homage to earlier movie feats, but a self-congratulatory smugness. Mr. O'Brien is an almost entirely charmless young man, but at least he's human; Schwarzenegger's performance, on the other hand, could easily have been

computer-generated. Perhaps one day it will be.

The final irony is that HERO fails to parody a form that has already become a parody of itself. Without even meaning to, LETHAL WEAPON 3 or CLIFFHANGER generate bigger laughs than this clunking, joyless monolith of a movie.

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  • Released: 1993
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Forget JURASSIC PARK. If you're fascinated by life-forms destined for extinction, look no further than Arnold Schwarzenegger, as presented in LAST ACTION HERO. HERO claims to be a gentle, playful parody of the action/adventure genre, but comes off as a… (more)

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