Last Man Standing (1996)

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Last Man Standing: Directed by Walter Hill. With Bruce Willis, Bruce Dern, William Sanderson, Christopher Walken. A drifting gunslinger-for-hire finds himself in the middle of an ongoing war between the Irish and Italian mafia in a Prohibition era ghost town.

“This movie serves fine for some action, with excellently dark shoot-outs being shown as John Smith (Bruce Willis), as he has told us at least, wonders into this town and quickly learns to play the two opposing gangs for all they are worth, willing to kill in the process of course, which he does expertly while wielding two colt .45 1911u0026#39;s masterfully. This movie recalls both the westerns of of the sixties, one of which, For a Fistful of Dollars, is another adaptation of this movieu0026#39;s source material, Akira Kurosawau0026#39;s Yojimbo, as well as the noir movies of the 40u0026#39;s. This may work for some but it does feel rather odd, in both a good and bad way. Bruce Willis, in grim and monotone manner, is perfect for the narration held in between the shoot-outs. This narration, along with the costumeu0026#39;s of the characters, fedorau0026#39;s and all, are cheerful reminders of the noir movies of past, to show that perhaps that genre has a little life left within it. The desert setting in which this 1860u0026#39;s style ghost town, in which the two rival gangs square off, both with help from our main character, is located in is the main reminder then of the western part of this movie as well. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe Plot then is basically Bruce Willisu0026#39;s character playing both sides for whatever he can get. He is grimly cool in a certain way. The gangs then are the Irish, led by Doyle, and the Italians, led by Strozzi. These gangs are essentially copies of each other except for their names and accents, and perhaps their faces. The only difference of course being that Doyle has a psychotic second-in-command, or so we are told at the start of the movie. He, as a psychotic, is played by the true mother of all psychotic playing actors…. You guessed it, Christopher Walken, essentially playing Christopher Walken. The only other occupants of the town then are the sheriff, bartender, and undertaker. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIn the end this is movie is certainly a dark one, although it is also not particularly serious in terms of realism. The atmosphere is extremely dark and grim as many characters are killed by Willis as well as Walken. It may actually be found depressing later on in the movie. However, contrary to this, the violence is often slightly comical. In one instance as many as forty bullets are needed to take down a character, and in others people, after having been shot by pistols, fly back several yards in the air. Something will certainly work for everyone who sees this movie, however only some will find all of these mixed aspects pleasurable when placed together as they have been here. This movie definitely employs major style, both in its shoot-outs and visual style. In parts of this film, the color has been diluted so much that it appears more or less selectively colored, such as in Sin City but not so much so. This will work for noir fans as well as those who find this bold style innovative and original, but others will find that it contributes more-so merely to the grim nature of this movie. The shoot-outs, undeniably are the best part of this movie and is all you desire is some good action then this movie fills that desire well. While this movie prefers darkness over fun, the stylistic and violent gunfights as well as the dark style will appeal to many, as it has to me. 7/10”


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