Last Action Hero title image
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131 min.
Release Date
Last Action Hero poster

Somewhere between Planet Hollywood restaurants and Last Action Hero, Hollywood’s hubris spun out of control in the 1990s. Tinsel Town has always been self-referential and basked in its own glow. But in the ‘90s, its self-congratulatory nature got swept up in action-hero celebrity worship, boosting the likes of egomaniacs such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and others into commercial icons who sold the general notion of Hollywood to the masses, as opposed to building the concept with quality storytelling. Released in 1993, Last Action Hero is a movie made by a committee—half a dozen screenwriters, studio execs, and Schwarzenegger exercising his star power—with each member having a different idea of what the movie should be. The outcome is hollow and messy. Whole scenes, lines of dialogue, and subplots don’t make any sense because of its many rewrites and rushed post-production schedule. Yet, there’s enough gloss and enthusiasm behind this ungainly product that warrants occasional admiration, though not enough to smooth out its lumpy, patchwork construction. In a shut-your-brain-off kind of way, it’s entertaining enough. But it’s more fascinating as a behind-the-scenes account of Hollywood’s worst impulse to engineer a self-satisfied blockbuster.

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