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Last Man Standing

List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Aaron Beierle | posted March 10, 2000 | E-mail the Author
The Movie:

Bruce Willis may have been the perfect actor to play a drifter who steps into a war in Walter Hill's western, but the movie itself leaves something to be desired. A remake of "Yojimbo", the movie has the style and tone down, but it ultimately feels so flat that it tends to feel long and rather boring.

Willis plays John Smith, a drifter who finds himself driving through the dead-end town of Jericho, TX. When he happens to look at the girl of one of the local gangsters, his car gets more than a little roughed up. He soon learns more about the situation going on in the town - it's during the times of prohibition, and two rival Chicago gangs are currently in a thin truce. Once he sees the situation, he decides to turn one against the other in order to make money for himself.

Willis's character and performance are the one major positive aspect of the movie. Although the voiceover is kind of annoying at times, I think the actor is perfect in this role, quiet and always seeming to plan his next move. The rest of the characters are pretty uninteresting and thinly written.

"Last Man Standing" at least tries to put together a decent Western, but one wishes that Hill would have placed some energy in the film, and not made it so overly grim.


The DVD

VIDEO: Certainly not the most beautiful looking movie, New Line's anamorphic transfer still handles the film's dusty brown color palette well, with the town and desert scenes looking good. Sharpness is good throughout, and the picture holds up pleasantly even with all of the dust and sand blowing around in some scenes. There are no problems such as pixelation or shimmering, and there are no problems with the print used. A very good effort from New Line. The 2.35:1 transfer is anamorphic.

SOUND: A lot of the movie's audio is simply dialogue and the occasional gust of wind blowing through the town. When it finally errupts though, watch out. The gunfights that happen every so often are loud, and have strong impact - gunfire sounds as if it's coming from all around the room. Dialogue is clear and easily understood, and the score sounds natural as well. It's not consistently amazing, but the gunfights are some of the most intense I've heard, and are very powerful.

MENUS:: Although this was a fairly early New Line title, they did include some nice although slight animation in the menus.

EXTRAS: Trailer (in 5.1). Under Willis's bio are highlights from his scenes in "The Player" and "National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1".

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