Title: Last Action Hero (1993)
Director: John McTiernan
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austin O’Brien, Charles Dance, Anthony Quinn, F. Murray Abraham and Ian McKellen
Danny (O’Brien) is a huge film fan and his favourite actor is Jack Slater (Schwarzenegger). He frequently visits the local cinema, where one day he is given a magic ticket by the owner. Amazingly, this ticket allows him to transport into one of Jack Slater’s movies. As he has seen all of Slater’s films, he has plenty of insider knowledge of what is going on and is able to identify the main bad guy Benedict (Dance) for Slater. After Benedict gains control of half of the ticket, he travels back into the real world and brings several monstrosities with him, including Death (McKellen) and Ripper (Tom Noonan). Now it is up to Danny and Slater to save the day. The only problem is, Slater is not an action star in the real world.
This is one of Arnold’s greatest ever roles, but the film was completely trounced by critics and was a dud at the box office. To be fair, it was up against Jurassic Park in movie theatres, which might explain why it performed so poorly.
Austin O’Brien gives a highly entertaining performance as the hyperactive Danny Madigan. Not once does he look out of place, even in front of the likes of McKellen and Murray Abraham. Charles Dance excels as the bearded and psychotic Benedict, who also has a false eye. His sarcastic delivery is a hoot and his rant about doing a 180 degree turn never gets old.
The supporting cast is great and features top notch work from Anthony Quinn, F. Murray Abraham and Ian McKellen. McKellen is quite obviously based on the character of ‘Death’ from Ingmar Bergman’s classic 1957 film, The Seventh Seal. He is a real scene-stealer.
Last Action Hero is a great film and deserves to be remembered as such. It has a great script, is laugh-out-loud funny, has memorable characters and above all, great action sequences. If you have never seen it before, it comes highly recommended.