Arnold Schwarzenegger seems intent on reviving his post-political movie career. This movie came out a few months ago to tepid reviews, and a mediocre box office take. It's essentially a mercenary grab for the movie-watcher's wallet, coldly calculated to trade on our fond memories of Predator, Terminator, True Lies, and the like.
And what can I say? It worked in my case…
Arnold plays Ray Owens, head cop in sleepy Sommerton, Arizona, a town near the Mexican border. (But due to hazardous geography, it's not near a likely border crossing, which turns out to matter.) He enjoys a good relationship with his three deputies, who are straight out of Hollywood Stereotype, Inc.: a Hispanic guy (the great Luis Guzmán), an inexperienced but gung-ho kid (Zach Gilford) and a beautiful and sensible female (Jaimie Alexander). Ray's fine with all that: he is a scarred and tired veteran of the LAPD, and wants nothing more than to spend the rest of his working days managing parking disputes and domestic squabbles.
But, because he's Arnold, we all know that's not gonna happen. A ruthless and rich drug dealer in Federal custody unhatches a deadly escape plan under the nose of an FBI guy (the great Forest Whitaker), gets into a souped-up Corvette, and heads south. A heavily-armed gang (headed by the great Peter Stormare) has been sent ahead to forge an escape route through Sommerton. Pretty soon, there are lots of bodies, dispatched through various forms of R-rated violence.
The movie's tongue is firmly in its cheek throughout.
Johnny Knoxville turns in a decent performance as a semi-deranged
nut collector to whom the good guys
turn to provide firepower. And (the great) Harry Dean Stanton turns in
a good thirty-second performance as a cantankerous farmer
who comes out second-best in a confrontation with the bad guys.