January will see the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger to the big screen in a lead role with Kim Ji-woons The Last Stand. It has been nearly 10 years since we last saw Arnie kick-ass in a lead role, so anticipation is naturally high. The finest action hero of our time will be seen in three movies over 2013, including starring alongside Sylvester Stallone in prison thriller The Tomb and featuring in Ten, a crime drama directed by David Ayer (Training Day, End of Watch). So the future is looking bright for the former Governor of California.
The Last Stand is first up and is Kim Ji-woons first English language film. That alone is exciting given he is the man who made the great South Korean films A Bittersweet Life, The Good, The Bad, The Weird and I Saw the Devil. Add to the mix Schwarzenegger and surely we should have a peculiar gem or at the worst, an enjoyable mess of a film. So what better way to get reacquainted with Schwarzenegger than to watch 5 of his most underrated films.
Sure we have all seen films like Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Predator, True Lies and Total Recall a million times, so why not get familiar with some films of his that you may have forgotten about.
Arnies popularity began to wane in the late 90s/early 2000s with a string of films that failed to live up to his box office potential... or what we like to call "the Batman & Robin effect". While The 6th Day was not as bad as Batman & Robin, it hardly set the film world alight either at a time when Arnie really needed a big hit. The film made its budget back, but only received mixed reviews from critics and now has been all but forgotten in Arnies filmography.
Despite the often tedious family scenes and the scenes with his clone, this is an enjoyable romp with a few fun divergences from the routine science fiction thriller. The future in The 6th Day is an entertaining one and allows for Schwarzenegger's Gibson to have lots of fun. While the film avoids having a say on the subject of cloning (mainly it is just a cool gimmick that allows Arnie to kill lots of people), it makes for fun action scenes with Arnie taking out evil Michael Druckers (Tony Goldwyn) goons who keep getting re-cloned. It is hardly the greatest of Arnies back catalogue for sure, but a fun, throwaway way to spend two hours.