Nostalgia Critic Real Thoughts On: Last Action Hero

Never apologize! NEVER APOLOGIZE!

See the original review here: http://channelawesome.com/nostalgia-critic-last-action-hero/

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

48 comments

  1. I loved Last Action Hero!! I really don’t get what Doug’s problems were with it. Last Action Hero was a fun, self-aware spoof of arnold & other action flicks of the time.

    • The movie wasn’t too bad, but the tie in video game was awful.

      I played the game and thought the movie was going to be as terrible, but I was surprised how much I actually enjoyed the movie.

    • I totally get what Doug’s problems were with it, because I had the same ones when I saw the movie in the theater. The tone is really inconsistent and the rules of the universe of the movie within the movie are even more inconsistent. When you look at the better parody movies (Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Airplane, etc.) they have a really consistent tone and hard set rules. Last Action Hero is a bit of a mess. There were some great parts in it (the fantasy sequence with Arnold as Hamlet was brilliant, and the scene in the video store in the movie within the movie was great and if the rest of the movie had followed the tone of that scene, it would have been a better movie), but there was a lot of stuff that just took me out of the movie. The cartoon cat in particular made no freaking sense in the context of the movie within the movie. If you want to see good satirical movies with similar ideas, see Purple Rose of Cairo and Pleasantville.

  2. doug you’re a pussy

  3. First time commenting: I’ve watched all the NC reviews and love your work guys – thanks so much for it.

    Also just wanted to mention that I’m pretty sure the Charles Dance shooting scene at the real world petrol station is just a spoof on how in most action films a gunshot in a public place will cut pretty much immediately to the cops showing up – I didn’t see it as some statement that the real world is more violent, just that a film villain wouldn’t appreciate that in the real world thing rarely happen quite so on cue.

    One gag in the film to the effect you’re talking about does happen when Dance’s character is confused as to why muggers would take someone’s shoes. That was a joke on how, for all the absurd murder rates in 90s action films, they did lack a certain grit. There’s a clever joke there in what counts as unpalatable and what doesn’t in a popcorn action flick.

  4. No need to apologize, why should you suddenly UNDERSTAND this movie anyway?! I mean, this is entertainment, not informative. Right. Right?

    This is she show mocking needless effects being like shaking keys in front of a toddler, yet starts with explosions and an over the top into. So, MUCH more clever than Last Action Hero, right guys?

    Yeah…
    Yeah I guess I go to James Rolfe if I want actual honest and well prepared info, instead of “Real Thoughts” videos which are still just a role disguised as “real opinions”.

    • You really need to calm down. You’re acting as if Doug is contractually obligated to ignore his own opinions for the sake of validating your own. Sure he misses the point of the movie (not that it’s necessarily a bad thing) but just because a person can’t get into a film, it doesn’t mean that they should be singled out and looked down on for it.

      On the subject of his sketch comedy, it actually lines up pretty well with his philosophy of keeping your satire consistent. Throughout his reviews, his sketches are based entirely on the movie that he’s reviewing. This is a lot different than Last Action Hero, which targets the entire media of movies as a whole, which at times comes across as disjointed (which unfortunately sticks out to the Walker brothers). The reason the intro is so over the top is because, well, the show itself is over the top, even during its earliest days. Again, it doesn’t necessarily make Doug right. To claim your own opinion is right is quite possibly the biggest asshole thing you can say, and as far as I can tell, the Walker bros are simply trying to explain why they don’t like the movie.

  5. Suburban Knights was the only good anniversary movie, in my opinion. It was like the Avengers or Captain America 2 of the Channel Awesome anniversary movies. The others range from Seventh Son levels as the worst and Dark Knight Rises as the best. I have no opinion of Last Action Hero since I’ve never seen it. Most of the movies I watch are PG-13 so… make of that what you will…

    • If you loved the Schwarzenegger films preceeding LAH (such as Predator, Total Recall, and the two Terminators) then you may come to appreciate what they were trying to do.
      Back in the late 80’s early 90’s it would have been a dream come true for most any boy in their early teens to see Arnie in a huge action blockbuster like the Jack Slater movies . . . and so we get young Danny Madigan who gets to do just that as he gets to watch ‘Jack Slater IV’ which is PG-13, just like LAH. The character of Danny was the type of audience the movie itself was made for. Young teens who may have only seen censored tv versions of Arnold’s biggest movies and wanted to be able to see one for themselves without having to find a way into another R-rated movie, or being denied from going because of such by their parents.
      If you keep all that in mind when watching it, including that it was the early 90’s when it came out, you just might like it . . . or at least understand it. Arnold’s movies were a big part of my generation and when I watched LAH back in about 1994 I easily grasped what the movie was going for. True = it was not and never could be a blockbuster like his other flicks but I’ll never regard it as a bad movie. It’s just something different.
      Give it a try sometime.

  6. I think the big disconnect here is that it wasn’t just a parody/satire of “a Schwarzenegger movie”, but movies as a whole. Action movies, buddy cop, horror, cartoon, comedy everything was represented in that world.

    I saw the movie in theaters. And I went in expecting it to be the usual Schwarzenegger action fare, because that’s what the trailers all showed. And that was *NOT* the movie provided. But I found the movie provided far, far more interesting. It’s sci-fi, alternate reality. It’s taking a deeper look at those action movies, twisting the tropes at the time, and expanding what life as a whole would be like if that was your normal. Yes, parts of it were intentionally over the top, such as the stacking dogs, and “you know, tar actually stick to some people”, but that was part of the point. Part of the charm. In the same way that Cabin in the Woods was over the top (there is a scene involving a unicorn killing someone, come on!)

    Last Action Hero is one of my favorite movies. Legitimate favorites. Comparing it to Cabin in the Woods probably is about the best route. They were both movies that tried to really look at their genres, and the tropes, and twist and apply them in a whole new way, and a way that grounds them.

    But that’s not what audiences were told to expect. Marketing fail.

  7. Sassafrasshash

    I love this movie.

  8. For me i love Last Action Hero. Not for the satire of action movies, but for the questions it poses about the nature of fictional characters. From the point they all leave the movie world it’s one great scene after another. When Jack finally realizes that his entire world is nothing but a film and that line about how he had to watch his son get murdered in front of him for nothing more than entertainment.

    And the scene where he turns up the radio that’s playing Beethoven, he’s so amazed by it because he’s never heard anything like it before, only the music from the movie soundtrack.

    Maybe Last Action Hero isn’t the best satire but it is a fantastic movie.

  9. No problemo Doug. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it.

    We can see it several times in the review, like when you put E.T. soundtrack when Dany ride a bike in front on the moon. Well… yeah, that’s the joke of the movie, adding E.T. soundtrack isn’t necessary. If you dont even get that…

  10. I actually thought The Last Action Hero was…OK.

  11. I want to see a Real Thoughts on “judge Dredd”, because yes, the screenplay and world style sucked, but Stallone DID play a great Dredd considering what he was given to work with. As much as I consider the new “Dredd” a superior film on ALMOST ALL counts, the ONE it failed to me on was Urban as Dredd. Through the entire movie whenever I heard him say a line it was like a rusty nail on a chalkboard (that high pitched voice!) and then imagined Stallone saying those lines and how much better that would have been.

    • Here’s a question for ya. Look at that movie in a different way.

      If Stallone had wanted to transition to TV from movies would THAT ‘Judge Dredd’ have made a great movie for a ‘Judge Dredd’ TV mini-series? For example, say as the 3rd or 4th movie in a four or five part series?

  12. I gotta be completely honest; Your review of Last Action Hero is definitely my least favorite Nostalgia Critic review.

    I’ve watched your reviews of movies I absolutely loved at as a kid such as Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers The Movie, Pokemon The First Movie, and Space Jam, and I saw your points with your criticisms of them and had a change of heart on the movies, but I’d never seen Last Action Hero or even knew anything about it except that it had Arnold Schwarzenegger in it, and I couldn’t help but enjoy the movie despite your criticisms of it.

    Throughout the review, I couldn’t help but think that things were going over your head such as scenes being deliberately clichéd, badly timed explosions deliberately being badly timed, the reason that there were so many buddy-cop pairings was because it was a world where multiple movies were set, and the fact that there were so many celebrities was because anybody important in a Hollywood movie would be played by someone famous.

    The point where I gave up and stopped watching the review was when the dogs formed a dog-pyramid and it made me chuckle, but you said it wasn’t funny.

    In your editorial “Is parody dead?”, you said the key to making parody right is to keep in spirit of what it’s parodying, and Last Action Hero does exactly that. The dog scene is an ideal example of that! The way the scene was set up, it actually did seem like the guy was going to sic his dogs on Arnold, but then the movie played against expectations in a comical way.

    • Yeah, that was the review that made me realize that Doug isn’t too great at catching satire. Even when it’s obvious. I’ve got nothing against the guy, of course. It’s just an observation.

  13. Professor von SCIENCE!!!

    I will say that the ideas in this movie are interesting and I will admit it has a few good scenes but I must admit it’s not good or bad overall for me. Honestly, it just bores me to tears.

  14. Frankly,I’m happy this movie exists.Any movie that prevents a Hanz & Franz movie from being released is fine by me.

  15. I always took the line the Nick tells Danny about the ticket’s power being Danny’s all along to mean that Danny was projecting the world that he jumps into. This is why it is so fanboy ridiculous and nonsensical. Hence showing Danny’s “vision” of a Jack Slater Hamlet movie. I was Danny’s age when I saw this film in theaters and it was magical for that reason to me. As an adult I can appreciate more of the film references, but still enjoy it from a childlike view.

  16. O-ho-ho, i’ve waiting for it for far too long.

  17. I think the major problem with y’all’s perspective is that you’re expecting a Mel Brooks style spoof, or an Arnold Schwarzenegger action film, when it’s neither, it’s a comedic deconstruction of action films and escapism. This isn’t an Arnold Schwarzenegger film, this is COP MOVIE/ACTION MOVIE world, where all cop movies meet at the police station in a shared universe, and go about on their crazy adventures. Think Wreck-It Ralph and the bridge between all the games, where they all go to their individual games, but meet up at the Grand Central Station, where they can go to other games. The big difference is that they aren’t aware of that they’re fictional. That’s why you see Robert Patrick and Sharon Stone at the police station, Terminator 2 and Basic Instinct are also happening in this universe. To them, a world where a cop in LA gets into gunfights every day full of explosions, property damage, and dead bad guys is a Tuesday for them.

    In compensation, everything turns out all right for the heroes, or at least, it does on the surface. Think about this, in action movies, the hero of the movie has to deal with nightmares of the previous adventures the man has had, the way he has no social life, and that, as per usual with action movies, everyone he cares about either dies or leaves as the sequels stack on. In reality, the actors or actresses don’t commit to the sequel, but in the movie world, the side characters routinely leave the main character, one way or another, usually through tragedy. A good example of this is John McClane from Die Hard, regular NYPD cop, wife, kids, and a somewhat normal life. Fast forward a few sequels, and he’s divorced, his kids hate him, and he has barely any friends due to how many people die around him and the stuff he’s been through. THAT is Jack Slater’s life, meaning that the escape isn’t really an escape, it’s a nightmare dressed up in a wonderful dreamlike coating.

    Well, you might say, “Good thing I live in real life, right?” Not so, in Last Action Hero, Danny is robbed, and nearly killed, and the robber is never brought to justice. We see the ugliness of our world, with the prostitution, drugs, murder and the potential callousness of reality, where the bad guys can win, because there’s no writer to make sure the happy ending happens. As Danny puts it, “The real world stinks.”

    The person being shot and no one caring? Look up Kitty Genovese. A woman was killed in New York City, and the neighborhood fell into the Bystander Effect, assuming someone else would do it, and that it wouldn’t be their problem as she laid there screaming. In this world, Charles Dance’s character realizes that he isn’t facing a world where, for some reason, criminal always lose, he’s facing a world where things do not follow a script, and if he’s clever enough, he can actually win. This is why Danny escapes into the films. His life is terrible, and the thing that brightens his day? Cheesy action movies where the hero always wins.

    The film is about Danny’s facing the negative consequences of both, and growing as a person because of it.

    Corny and silly action comedy kids movie, but it also makes you think about the flaws of both our creations and our lives in comparison to it.

    • Huge thumbs up.

      This and similarly insightful comments above are a lot more interesting and persuasive than the Walkers’ evaluation. It’s a shame that they dismiss support for the film in the above video as fans bleating “it’s a satire, it’s a satire, all bets are off!” when, if they got around their own instinctive biases and expectations, they’d see it’s a pretty smart film written by a very smart guy.

      I don’t mind that they don’t like LAH – I’m just a little disappointed that they’re not giving credit to it where it’s due. Compare this to Doug’s review of The Matrix, wherein he said he didn’t much care for it but gave a thorough and well-reasoned explanation as to why his view is credible.

      • Lol funny how this works, I saw LAH way back and thought this was a smart, savvy take on it. Actually, thought what a breath of fresh air, the two not being complete twits again!
        Cause yea, thorough well-reasoned explanation? Please. Unlike the LAH review which seems to ignore the satire out of spite, the Matrix reviews were just 90 minutes of being lazy and obtuse, and the “real thoughts” were a confused, disorganized mess where they kept going back and forth on which movie was more vague / explained too much and were getting lost inbetween basic Joseph Campbell tropes. Probably the worst I’ve ever seen them do – though, reading through the reactions through this, and a lot of reactions to various NCs in the past, I probably just missed it whenever it happened to some movie I was less familiar with.

    • Yeah, It’s really clever movie. The Benedict theory scene was so good. I don’t see what were Walkers thinking that would happen in 30 seconds? In the movie world shooting a guy is a murder but in reality that is just a loud bang in the night until the body is found. That guy who yells at him obviously thinks he is some drunken teenager fooling around yelling dumb things. Or what would you think if some random guy on the street would be yelling confessions in the night?

  18. i agree with most people here. its a satire of action movies in general, not just arnold. much like mccain in the simpsons. i think thats pretty straight forward and it does make sense, if you see it as a satire of action movies as a whole. people arent giving it a freepass because it is satire, they are pointing out why it works under the rules it stablished and what is trying to say. its not a masterpiece or anything but you confused the premise

    • that being said. people are really over analyzing this movie. its a parody, much on the level of the first scary movie, maybe a little more original but not quite as funny. i give it a pass, and i think most people here do the same, just that they are as defensive in their position of sort of liking it as you guys are in seemingly hating it. its not good, its not really bad, this whole argument is pretty stupid and these videos are cheap clickbait.
      im gonna stop watching, because these arent really movies you can talk twenty or even forty minutes about. why dont you talk about good movies insted? maybe some outside of hollywood that are worth checking. some on the black and white era, maybe a silent flick. i dunno, most of your opinions are the same as in the actual reviews so this whole thing is quite pointless beyond the views you get. thats my two cents on the issue here, hope you give it a read and maybe agree on the idea.

  19. Last Action Hero, as a movie spoof, is very schizophrenic. It is still fun enough a movie, but I will agree it rates no more than a C. But if you turn off your brain and just enjoy the silliness. It’s a fun enough movie.

  20. The thing that I recall from this movie back in the day that it was the Movie to Hate of the year. Even before it came out, and this was when the internet was still in its diapers. Its a fun movie just pull the stick out your butt and just relax and turn the brain off. This is a prob that I guess that Doug and Rob have….pulling the stick out.

  21. I enjoyed Last Action Hero when I was younger, but I do wonder how my attitude towards it would be if I watched it now, as I found myself agreeing with all the points you were making.

  22. Please talk about Exorcist 2: The Heretic!

  23. I loved the stark contrast of the movie world which was all sunny and over the top with the “real world”, which as all dark and gritty.

    This was such a great movie.

    Don’t understand how you can’t “get” this movie.

  24. For the record, I love this movie and I was a grown-up when I first saw it – must’ve been at least 21.
    So, it’s not just one for people who saw it as kids.

    (The reason I have a hard time hearing you say ‘we don’t hate this movie’ is because it’s kinda drowned out by half an hour of you tearing it a new plothole.)

    Funny you should mention Jurassic Park – that’s probably the real reason this movie failed. That’s what it was up against at the box office.

  25. Spaceballs was pretty awful, I don’t get why they keep praising it.

  26. pickledsuicune

    Man, hearing you guys talk about satires makes me really want to hear your opinions on Kingsman: Secret Service. That movie was seriously so much fun to watch and it was a fantastic satire while also being an incredibly enjoyable film on its own. It’s not my favorite movie, but it’s just so great, over-the-top, and a whole lot of fun to just watch.

  27. The Critic should have apoligized.

    Here is why:

    There is no problem with him disliking the Movie.
    There is no problem with him thinking the the movie would be bad satire.

    The problem is, that in hic NC review, he totally ignored that the movie is a satire, took it all 100% serious and rated the movie based on that.

    The movie did something stupid or weird on purpose? The NC took it 100% serious, pretended to not get it, and rated it based on that.

    If the NC would have said all the arguments that he made in this video, it would have been totally cool.
    But instead he chose to create an artificial point of view that was ignorant to what what happening in the movie, just to be able to bash more stuff.

    He treated the movie unfair and didn’t do it justice.
    That’s what he’s supposed to apologize for.

    It’s like rating the plot of an Simpsons episode based on what you think about the Itchy and Scratchy episode that was inside, while totally ignoring that this was something that was meant to be viewed in a different way and did things on purpose.

    “Oh, this simpsons episode made no sense! Why could Itchy breath in space? That’s fucking stupid!”

  28. love this movie how dare u

  29. I like or love violence with a cause, Cause!

  30. Sex or Sexual Intercourse with a cause too, but you know nearly all New Yorkers (I believe 85-90%) are freaking pacifists and maybe even celibates I know cause I live in peaceful Brooklyn, New York City nothing ever happens here at least that’s what everybody hopes for even in fictional movie New York, violence and sex nowadays is really toned down for Liberal Democratic or Political Correctness (or maybe Conservative Republican as well) it’s kind of sad really but that’s what makes us New Yorkers super nice. Unlike you Chicago or Los Angelos moviegoing public.

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