Last Action Hero

Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a movie action hero in Los Angeles, joined on the screen by an 11-year-old fan (Austin O’Brien) in New York; when the movie villains exit the screen for New York in the real world, the boy and his hero follow. This is less successful as streamlined merchandise than Jurassic Park or Cliffhanger, but it gave me more pleasure, at least for its imagination and goofy ideas. The performances of both Schwarzenegger and O’Brien are labored, the pacing uneven, and maybe only half the gags work, but there’s a certain amount of creative energy and audacity mixed in with all the confusion. Among the many writers with a hand in this $80 million blockbuster are Shane Black, David Arnott, Zak Penn, and Adam Leff; John McTiernan (Die Hard, Medicine Man) directed, and the secondary cast includes F. Murray Abraham, Art Carney, Charles Dance, Tom Noonan, Robert Prosky, Anthony Quinn, Mercedes Ruehl, and Joan Plowright. (JR)

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