Korean filmmaker Kim played with the Western genre before in his wacky 2008 pastiche The Good the Bad the Weird, and this film is just as chaotically uneven, mixing cartoon-style silliness with grisly violence. But the high-energy approach holds our interest, as does Schwarzenegger's immense screen presence in his first starring role since his political career. The film is far too jumbled to hold together, but its sardonic sense of humour makes it a decent guilty pleasure.
Arnie plays Sheriff Owens, who has a quiet routine in his sleepy Arizona-Mexico border town. So when a stranger (Stormare) appears, he sends his deputies (Alexander and Gilford) to investigate. Things get violent quickly, so he deputises a drunken veteran (Santoro) and a moronic gun-nut (Knoxville) to work alongside another deputy (Guzman). What he doesn't yet know is that the baddies are part of an elaborate plan to help a drug kingpin (Noriega) escape from a Law Vegas FBI Agent (Whitaker) and cross the border to freedom in Mexico.
The whizzy plot actually has promise as a straightforward action movie, but Kim throws so much nuttiness at the screen that we can't take anything seriously. The story zings from set-piece to set-piece without much concern for credibility or coherence. It's all very cool, especially the baddie's glimmering, super-fast prototype Corvette, which travels "faster than a chopper" on isolated country roads that are improbably smooth. And his climactic plan to get over the border is astonishingly silly, but played dead straight.
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Cheyenne is a soft-spoken, retired rockstar still wearing make-up and hairspray whilst living in Dublin and has been estranged from his Jewish father for 30 years. When he discovers that his father is dying in New York, he is determined to set out to put things right with him, but his journey is delayed by Cheyenne's aversion to flying; when he finally makes his way over, he is too late to see his father alive for the final time. He learns that his father was a victim of persecution in Auschwitz during the Holocaust of World War II and that he was once made to suffer public humiliation by the Nazi officer Aloise Muller. In a last bid to make peace with his father, Cheyenne sets out to kill Muller (who is currently hiding out in the States) whilst meeting several people along the way, including members of Muller's family. When he is finally led to Muller, he finds himself confronted with a difficult decision as he listens to his story and, eventually, he manages to mark out a new chapter in his retired life.
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Ray Owens is a police sheriff whose major crime fighting days are all but over when he swaps his job in the LAPD combating drug crimes for the much less strenuous post in the quite town of Sommerton Junction on the Mexican border, after a botched drugs operation left him feeling defeated when his friend and colleague ended up crippled. His comfort in his new post is challenged all too soon when the most formidable drug tycoon in the western world, Gabriel Cortez, slips from the clutches of the FBI. Cortez and his ruthless army head towards the Mexican border in Sommerton Junction at 250 miles per hour in a deadly modified Corvette ZR1 with a hostage, mercilessly shooting at the police officers attempting to arrest them and easily sweeping police cars out of their way. They are pursued by the entire law enforcement of America led by Agent John Bannister, though Owens is unwilling to bring his team into the fight at first, feeling not the officer he used to be. His reluctance becomes irrelevant anyway when he is told to take a backseat due to the lack of experience of his team; however Owens soon changes his mind and bands his modest taskforce together to forcibly take on the fierce drug gang themselves.
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Rango is a chameleon who isn't particularly content living the life of the general chameleon, he sees himself as more of a hero figure, striving to protect those who need him; but when he finds himself in a western town called Dirt, Rango must start playing the role he's always dreamt of fulfilling, but once he's faced by bandits will he be able to keep up the charade?
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