Last Action Hero Blu Ray Review (Mill Creek Entertainment)
Last Action Hero is a 1993 action film produced & directed by John McTiernan (Predator, Die Hard, Die Hard with a Vengeance, & The Hunt for Red October). It was written by David Arnott (The Adventures of Ford Fairlane) & Shane Black (Lethal Weapon franchise, The Monster Squad, The Last Boy Scout, & Kiss Kiss Bang Bang). It was the first feature that Arnold Schwarzenegger had complete creative control over & executive produced. It had cameos from Jim Belushi, Chevy Chase, Robert Patrick, Sharon Stone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Damon Wayans, & many others. It was the first movie released in SDDS (Sony Dynamic Digital Sound) & a 7.1 channel SDDS mix. The budget was $85 million & it grossed $137.3 million worldwide at the box office. Lots of money was put into promotion for the feature from the studio so it was considered a flop after it’s final numbers.
Danny Madigan (played by: Austin O’Brien from The Lawnmower Man 1/2, Prehysteria!, & My Girl 2) is a lonely teenager that is obsessed with movies especially the Jack Slater (played by: Arnold Schwarzenegger from Predator, Terminator franchise, The Running Man, & Total Recall) ones. Local movie theater owner Nick (played by: Robert Prosky from Thief, Christine, The Great Outdoors, & Rudy) gives him a golden ticket once owned by Harry Houdini. Nick lets Danny get a sneak peek of the new Slater film before it opens worldwide. During the film, the ticket stub magically transports Danny inside the fictional world of the feature. He finds himself in a dangerous situation with his favorite action star Jack Slater. He tries to explain the strange scenario to Jack but he just thinks the kid is crazy until he reveals information no one else would know. Jack takes him to Los Angeles police department where he meets his boss Lieutenant Dekker (played by: Frank McRae from Rocky II, 48 Hrs, Used Cars, & Licence to Kill), cartoon cat detective Whiskers (played by: Danny DeVito from Batman Returns, Get Shorty, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, & Taxi), & veteran John Practice (played by: F. Murray Abraham from Amadeus, Scarface, Mobsters, & Surviving the Game).
Danny takes Jack to mobster Tony Vivaldi’s (played by: Anthony Quinn from Lawrence of Arabia, Gotti, Mobsters, & Revenge) mansion & they also meet Vivaldi’s main henchman Benedict (played by: Charles Dance from Game of Thrones, Alien 3, Space Truckers, & Underworld: Blood Wars) at the location. This sets up a war between them & the newly formed duo after knowing too much about the past. Jack introduces Danny to his daughter Whitney (played by: Bridgette Wilson from Mortal Kombat, Billy Madison, Higher Learning, & House on Haunted Hill), they get attacked & Benedict gets the golden ticket. After escaping near death, they are forced to follow him into reality after leaving the fictional world of Jack Slater. Benedict plans on killing the real Arnold Schwarzenegger to to put a stop to his rival’s existence. He bring back out the villain from the last Jack Slater sequel to finish the job. Now Jack has to save Arnold & battle both The Ripper (played by: Tom Noonan from Manhunter, Heat, Monster Squad, & Robocop 2) plus the evil Benedict to get his world back to normal before it’s changed FOREVER!!!!
Last Action Hero is a satire on the action genre & ironically enough it was written by one of the best writers of that sub genre Shane Black. So he was basically making fun of himself & having lots of fun with this screenplay. Arnold Schwarzenegger was very invested in this feature. It was the first time he actually produced something & had more creative control over a project. I personally think the PG-13 rating kinda hurt the film because it’s something that should have stood up to the other major productions at the time from the action genre but I do understand why they tried to do with that rating so they could have mass appeal & promote it more. It still works, it didn’t feel like it was that toned down & it’s one of the best parody films ever made. Arnold Schwarzenegger was testing out his comedy a little more on this one. It’s loaded with memorable one liners & catch phrases. It has so many great villains in this, I won’t list them because one is a spoiler. They knew what they were doing here, even the small henchmen parts were played by some great character actors & known bad guys. The supporting cast is top notch & it helped elevate the entire production. That’s a must when you have an action star with limited action talent but this is his world so he was perfect in the Jack Slater role. As far as replay value goes, this one is off the charts & I could honestly watch this any day. If you want to be entertained & have a fun experience, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Last Action Hero!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Mill Creek Entertainment. Last Action Hero was previously available on blu ray from Sony Pictures. Thanks to Mill Creek Entertainment, Last Action Hero is available again in it’s highest quality after being out of print. This 1080p (2.40:1) transfer is definitely a huge upgrade over your old VHS or DVD version of the feature. It looks better than expected for being a 90s action flick. The English: Dolby Digital 5.1 track here is a major improvement over the older non high definition releases. The dialogue is very clean, it captures all the action, & the soundtrack is amazing! There’s no special features on this disc like the original Sony release so you are not missing any additional extras from that. The Sony version was at a higher rate, it had more audio options, & subtitles but this release from Mill Creek is a nice alternative especially for it’s low price. It comes with an awesome retro VHS style slipcover for a limited time. It’s available exclusively at Walmart right now & everywhere else in two weeks, check it out!!!!