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1990s, Action -Shoot-em Ups, Drama - Gangland

Last Man Standing (1996)

Last Man

Duration 1h 41m Rating (UK) 18
Source of story A Japanese film, apparently, Yojimbo, by Akira Kurosawa
Director Walter Hill
Writers/Script Walter Hill
Starring Bruce Willis, Bruce Dern, Christopher Walken, Karina Lombard, Michael Imperioli, Leslie Mann,

Elevator Pitch: in 1932 a man drives into the dusty border town of Jericho, where he is attacked by a group of Irish thugs. He visits the sheriff, who is not interested and then checks into the local hotel, where he seems to find an allie in the manager. The town is dominated by an Italian and an Irish gang. He shoots the thug who has damaged his car, and as a result the two gang leaders vie for his services. While appearing to serve either at different times he actually works against them both, resulting in their gradual destruction.

Content: There is a bit of nudity and non-revelatory sex as Smith, the anti-hero visits a brothel, and almost continuous drinking of hard liquor. There are numerous gunfights, one or two with Thompson submachine guns and all involving automatic handguns; many gang members die. A theme of the film is Smith’s attitude towards the women involved, who he has sex with but who he gives money to, effectively rescuing them. The whole film made in a sepia tone, reflecting 1930s movies.

A View: This was not popular with the critics when it came out, mainly they said, because it was not any fun and it wasn’t, and it did not make any money. It is just a bit difficult to follow the plot, unless you are aware of its origins. If you are it all means something. Walter Hill is a master of the opening scene, so you could just watch that. I am searching for another good Bruce Willis film. Not this one then. Not worth your time even for nothing.

Additional Info: Said to be a direct remake of the Japanese original, also A Fistful of Dollars the makers of which were sued by Kurosawa, and he won.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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