Last Action Hero Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 3/10
There is just something that bothers me about a Blu-ray movie cover that is grainy and cheap looking.  Regardless of how old the movie is, present me with something that at least hints that the movie will look stellar on Blu-ray.  Here we get an Arnold cover that just looks grainy and weird, and considering this was not the original movie poster, which was cartoony and action packed, it means they could have picked from anything.  I don’t love the cover at all, and the menu is a cheap computer generated movie theater with scenes playing.  Again, at least make the effort to impress at the beginning.

Features: 1/10

  • Movie IQ – Movie IQ is basically trivia about the movie that is accessed as the movie is playing.  It feels like it is straight out of 1993, and it is not what I would really call a great extra, especially for a Blu-ray release.

The Movie: 6/10
Last Action Hero is a 1993 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie that was made after he had cemented his name as one of the biggest action movie stars of all time.  Made after the Terminator craze, as well as Total Recall, and other big money making movies, Last Action Hero was made as a kind of lampoon of his own movies, and I don’t think that people really caught the joke.  Arnold basically is playing Arnold in the movie, who is playing Jack Slater, a character in a string of action movies.  The catch is that 12 year-old Danny Madigan (Austin O’Brien), who just happens to be a Jack Slater fan, is  launched into a movie from a magical movie ticket that was given to Danny’s friend, who hands it on to the young boy as he sits down to preview the latest Slater blockbuster.  The result is that Danny becomes Slater’s sidekick, and while Danny seems to know everything about Jack Slater and his world (from watching the movies), Slater is incredulous as to the idea that he is just a movie character.

The two are forced to take down a mob boss and his assassin who Danny knows about from seeing the beginning of the movie.  Danny seems to know Slater’s every move, as well as half of his dialogue, which is kind of funny way of mocking Arnold and the entire action movie genre.  The two seem to launch through the rest of the film, battling cliche after action movie cliche, which is not nearly as funny as they seem to think it is.  While there are twists as the movie inside a movie tries to escape in to the “real world,” overall the end result is just a big mash up of explosions, one liners, and cliches.

Fortunately for me, it has been long enough that this almost takes a nostalgic leap for me, and I ended up not really minding the movie.  Taken with a grain of salt, the action sequences and the fact that they seemed to making fun of the entire genre kind of made me like this movie.  It is not a great movie, or a good movie for that matter, but it was enjoyable to watch, and while mindless, it was fun to kind of reminisce to a time when all we seemed to want on the screen was explosions and dumb quotes from our so-called actors.  To me, this type of movie was throw away, and this seemed to come at the end of that time period, when action movies were starting to lose their following.  A perfect example is the fact that in 1993 when this movie was released, it was beaten  to the theater by a little movie called Jurassic Park, which of course did extremely well.  When contrasting the two movies, it is easy to see that audiences were ready for something new, and Last Action Hero was kid of the last of a dying breed.  Overall I had fun, but I can still say that Last Action Hero is not a great movie by any stretch.

Audio & Video: 7/10
The video for Last Action Hero is actually decent for a 1993 release.  It is a bit grainy in spots, but overall the colors and detail are pretty decent.  Presented in 1080p AVC encoded MPEG-4, with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio, the transfer looks good overall.  There are some issues that seem to crop up in some of the darker scenes, but out in the sunlight, this movie looks sharp and crisp.

The audio was kind of a surprise to me, considering how the video was only decent.  As this is an action movie, the explosions and sound effects were very bright, and that really adds to this type of movie.  While at times the dialogue was a bit weak, overall the sound was really well done with lots of use of the rear speakers.  While better than the video, the audio is still not spectacular, but pretty decent for a 1993 release.

Value: 5/10
You have to be an Arnold Schwarzenegger fan to want to pick up your own Blu-ray copy of Last Action Hero.  I am sure that there are a few people like me who have not seen this release in ages, and for a popcorn, check your mind at the door kind of movie experience, Last Action Hero might be worth a rental.  The lack of extras, and the fact that the movie is less than stellar make this hard to really recommend for your Blu-ray collection, but having said all that, it was a fun little watch.  It is kind of sad to say that this might have been the end of Arnold’s action career, so perhaps this title should have been  “Last Action Role” instead.  Still, I had fun watching it, if for no other reason than to remember a time when big name action heroes ruled the movie theaters.  A few explosions and some bad one liners can be really fun.

Overall Score 5/10