To put it best, Arnold's big return the genre that built his career is a mixed bag of terrible one liners, some decent comedy, a lot of over the top action, and some well choreographed chase scenes. I went in expecting a possible return to form for the body builder turned action icon, but walked out without a real sense of what I had just seen.
The Last Stand is not awful but it's not as great as some of his past action entries. But, I give it a pass considering Arnold's overall absence from cinemas for years now. Besides some bit parts in The Expendables films, he's been missing in action for nearly 10 years. Maybe this was just a warm up exercise for what's to come. I went in expecting a gritty action flick like Predator, Commando or The Running Man. Instead, I got a comedy/action hybrid that doesn't stray too far in to anything near believable territory.
As a whole, The Last Stand is a blatant retread of almost every action movie I've ever seen. The villains are silly, non-threatening characters that lack back story while giving us no real motivation for their behavior. The support players are emotionally vacant cardboard cutouts that are not used to their full extent either. Why bring in Johnny Knoxville as a wannabe Murdoch from the A-Team if you're not going to use him as much as possible? His character was great comic relief to Arnold's die hard sheriff, and should have been used to his maximum potential.
Overall, The Last Stand is a simple, popcorn action flick. There is absolutely no depth to any of the characters and the story is vacant of any real dynamics. Yet, I still enjoyed myself. Every once in while it's nice to just kick back and enjoy the ride instead of judging every little plot hole or character flaw. I think you'll enjoy The Last Stand as a piece of silly escapist fun starring a man that's been missing for far too long.
And yes, it's better then either of the Expendables movies.