Jack Slater may be the Last Action Hero, but he is first in the heart of the man who played him – Arnold Schwarzenegger. “It was a really fun movie to make,” the Austrian action star told Yahoo Entertainment of the 1993 meta-comedy during a recent interview for his Netflix series. FUBAR. Lead by die hard maestro John McTiernan, the film follows 10-year-old movie buff Danny (Austin O’Brien) as he lives out his blockbuster dreams when he’s magically transported to the big screen alongside his favorite hero, Jack. “McTiernan did a great job with this movie,” Schwarzenegger now says.
Unfortunately, the public at the time disagreed. Released 30 years ago this month just weeks after Steven Spielberg’s jurassic park chewed up the box office, Last Action Hero was Schwarzenegger’s first costly Hollywood flop after a string of era-defining hits ended with The Terminator And Terminator 2. This failure was not an easy blow for the former bodybuilder to absorb. In fact, in the new docu-series Arnold – which is also streaming on Netflix – Schwarzenegger admits feeling beaten by the film’s lukewarm reception.
“I can’t tell you how upset I was,” he remarks in Arnold. “It hurts you. It hurts your feelings. It’s embarrassing. … I didn’t want to see anyone for a week. But you keep moving on. Go on.” It’s a great message.”
Fortunately, time heals all wounds – and also turns famous flops into cult favourites. Three decades after its theatrical release, Last Action Hero is a streaming-era favorite among the initially quiet minority who loved it during its theatrical release and young viewers who discovered it either on DVD or in its current home on Netflix. And these latter-day fans include some of Schwarzenegger’s own FUBAR co-stars like Travis Van Winkle. “I watched that one hundreds of times,” the 40-year-old actor happily admits. “That’s what pushed me to become an actor when I was very young.”
The same goes for Gabriel Luna, who played Schwarzengger’s nemesis twice – once in 2019. Terminator: Dark Fate and again in FUBAR. “I told him when we were doing Terminator, ‘Man, I live my Last Action Hero dreams,” The last of us laughed the star. “I’m in the movie with you.”
And we are there with him. Here are the five reasons Schwarzenegger — and everyone else — is right to love Last Action Hero 30 years later.
He has a Top 5 Arnold performance
Let’s face it: there’s no beating the T-800 or kindergarten legend Mr. Kimball. Yet Jack Slater is perhaps only the third greatest role Schwarzenegger has ever played, using his acting side, his comedic side, and his self-promotional side just as heavily. The actor has always been hyper-aware of his own mystique, and weaves it into Slater’s DNA to make him the ultimate big-screen enforcer of justice — think Dirty Harry meets Superman. And then in the third act, McTiernan and screenwriters Shane Black and David Arnott allow the star to send himselfmaking the “real” Arnold Schwarzenegger and his obsession with Planet Hollywood a secondary player in the climax.
But he doesn’t just bring the funny: Schwarzenegger also takes Slater to some dramatic places when he enters our world and suddenly goes from god to mortal. Sure enough, when Jack sustains a near-fatal gunshot wound near the end of the movie, it’s one of the few times in Schwarzengger’s career where you’re genuinely worried he might In fact die. If We Were To Do The 1993 Oscars Again, Schwarzenegger Hamlet only moment would qualify him for Best Actor honors over Tom Hanks in philadelphia cream.
Sorry, Willy Wonka – Danny Gets The Best Golden Ticket
Who needs a chocolate factory when you can walk into Hollywood’s Dream Factory? Danny’s passage into Slater’s world is aided by a gilded Willy Wonka-style movie ticket that once belonged to famed escape artist, Harry Houdini. This idea of a movie ticket allowing you to go from the auditorium to the big screen is something that resonated with Luna and Van Winkle, who were both around 11 when they saw the film for the first time. first time. “Who doesn’t want to step onto the big screen and be in a movie?” Luna said with a smile.
And once he’s onscreen with Slater, Danny discovers all the perks of being the lead in an action movie, including gravity-defying cars that can drive anywhere. where with impunity, animated cats working as cops and unexpected cameos from other movie characters like basic instinct Catherine Tramelle, The Seventh Seal Grim Reaper and, of course, the guy who killed Mozart. It’s better than a bunch of Oompa Loompas.
It features the longest (and funniest) fart joke in movie history
Mark timestamp: 65 minutes later Last Action Hero, Jack and Danny head to the rooftop funeral of Leo the Fart – the late mobster whose body is hijacked by Slater’s last nemesis, Tony Vivaldi (Anthony Quinn), to release a deadly toxin. The duo take it upon themselves to prevent this deadly passage of gas, an extended set that includes them being held hostage, stealing the body of Leo the Fart, and using a construction crane to attack a helicopter.
After navigating this gauntlet, they are able to deposit Leo’s body in the La Brea tar pits where he creates a gas bubble that only offends the other buried creatures. After 80 minutes, Jack comes out of the pits and launches the inevitable punchline: “Silent, but deadly”. It’s an oversized, super juvenile 15-minute fart prank disguised as an action sequence, easily surpassing other classic examples of the form – think the Blazing Saddles campfire scene or poor Seth Green’s automatic hotboxing in I can’t buy myself love. You cannot void this achievement.
Charles Dance steals the show
Sure, Tywin Lannister was a real job – but even the brutal patriarch of House Lannister would tremble at the sight of Mr. Benedict, Vivaldi’s glass-eyed enforcer who becomes Last Action Herohe’s the big bad guy. British TV stalwart Charles Dance, who previously starred in Eddie Murphy’s ill-aged 1986 comedy The Golden Childdeftly leans into the age-old cinematic trope of the articulate English villain who peppers his language with fanciful words and his actions with vile deeds.
As with Schwarzenegger, Dance’s performance takes it to another level in the third act when Mr. Benedict crosses our world and rejoices to discover that he is able to literally get away with murder because the real cops are much less susceptible to gunshots. After shooting an unlucky victim, he announces his crime to an indifferent world in what is by far the film’s best-delivered (and darkest) joke: “Hello, I just shot someone – I did it on purpose.” Talk about dancing like no one is watching.
It marks the end of an era with a smile
Thinking back to the summer of 1993, three decades later, jurassic parkresounding box office win over Last Action Hero heralded the impending change to the ’80s action cycle of cops vs. robbers and/or terrorists or good soldiers vs. bad soldiers. While these clashes didn’t immediately disappear from multiplexes, the ’90s gradually began to pit a new generation of heroes who specialized in dinosaurs, tornadoes, aliens and computer programs. By the end of the decade, even Schwarzenegger was fighting the literal devil instead of another commando.
Seen thus, Last Action Hero celebrates the movies that made its existence possible, while nodding to their excesses – giving audiences permission to laugh as they walk out of the theater and into the Tornadoes And Independence Days which would soon conquer the theaters. No wonder Schwarzenegger found the movie so fun to make: it was the ultimate farewell party.
Last Action Hero is currently streaming on Netflix.