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Last Man Standing

In a town with no justice, there is only one law... Every man for himself.
Last Man Standing
John Smith is a mysterious stranger who is drawn into a vicious war between two Prohibition-era gangs. In a dangerous game, he switches allegiances from one to another, offering his services to the highest bidder. As the death toll mounts, Smith takes the law into his own hands in a deadly race to stay alive.
Title Last Man Standing
Release Date 1996-09-20
Runtime
Genres Action Crime Drama Thriller Mystery
Production Companies Metropolitan Filmexport, New Line Cinema
Production Countries United States of America

Reviews

John Chard
And like Jericho, Walls come tumbling down. Last Man Standing is directed by Walter Hill who also adapts the screenplay from a story written by Ryûzô Kikushima and Akira Kurosawa. It stars Bruce Willis, Bruce Dern, William Sanderson, Christopher Walken, David Patrick Kelly, Karina Lombard and Ned Eisenberg. Music is by Ry Cooder and cinematography by Lloyd Ahern. Walter Hill's variant on Yojimbo, plot basically sees Willis as drifter John Smith, who after arriving in the dusty town of Jericho, promptly sets about making some serious cash by playing the town's two gangs off against each other. Smith is one tough hombre, a deadly pistoleer who has a fear of nothing, which is why the two respective gang leaders want him to work for them. Noses get put out of joint, blood flows, scores settled and a anti-hero is born, complete with permanent scowl and dry narration. The look and sound is terrific, Cooder's pessimistic twangs are all over the plot, while the visuals dovetail between sun-baked landscapes and the misty lensed ghost town of Jericho. Hill brings his trademark stylish violence into play, with slow-mos and rapid fire shoot-outs impressive, while his skill at creating an antique atmosphere is very much in evidence. Unfortunately the narrative isn't up to much, it lacks scope and characters merely exist, making this very much a style over substance exercise. It also means that much of the cast are given only morsels to feed on. A shame when you got Walken and Kelly on overdrive when on screen. It's an odd blend of a Western with Prohibition Noir characters, but it's unmistakably a Walter Hill film. For his fans there's enough to like about it whilst accepting it's a bit of a throwaway on the page. For the casual crime/action film fan, however, it's likely to be much ado about nothing. 7/10

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