DCSIMG

Film reviews: The Last Stand | Won’t Back Down | The House I Live in | The Wee Man

HE DID promise us that he’d be back, but has anyone missed Arnold Schwarzenegger?

The Last Stand (15)

**

Expendables 2 was the first test of movie waters, and clearly someone now feels confident to make him the star of this undemanding bloodbath, which can’t even be bothered explaining why Ray Owen, sheriff of a small Arizona town, has a teutonic accent you could use to shave steel.

Headed his way is a vicious Mexican drug lord (Eduardo Noriega), who has broken out of jail and is gunning for the border in a souped-up Corvette. The film is a little High Noon, a little Rio Bravo, but mostly it’s an excuse for jokes at Arnie’s expense. “How are you, Sheriff?” asks one citizen. “Old,” replies Schwarzenegger. And on this evidence, a little tired too.

On general release from Friday

Won’t Back Down (PG)

**

In this oversimplified paean to parent power, a plucky single mom (Maggie Gyllenhaal) teams up with a jaded teacher (The Help’s Viola Davies) to fight for better schooling by taking on those notorious bad guys, the teachers’ union. It’s allegedly “inspired by true events”, but in much the same way that Yogi Bear is based on an actual bear.

On selected release from Friday

The House I Live in (15)

****

Documentarian Eugene Jarecki offers a compelling investigation into the roots of America’s war on drugs, which has massively increased prison numbers whilst failing to reduce drug abuse. None of the arguments is new, but the talking heads are vivid and more unexpected, including a former crime reporter who went on to create TV’s The Wire.

Glasgow Film Theatre, Friday and Saturday

The Wee Man (18)

*

This dim and dreadful hagiography of Glasgow thug Paul Ferris (valiantly played by Martin Compston) manages to disappoint in every respect.

On general release

 

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