Last Man Standing (1996)

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A drifter stumbles onto a border town that’s being controller by two rival bootlegging gangs during the prohibition era.

Last Man Standing is quite a frustrating film because it so very nearly works. Yet another remake of Yojimbo it sets the classic story in the context of Tommy gun-toting mobsters in a marriage of the styles of the western and Film Noir, which is actually a great idea. Willis has his usual presence as the stone-faced and amoral protagonist and the supporting cast includes great turns by Bruce Dern and Christopher Walken who puts in a typically memorable and eccentric performance. Add some well choreographed shoot outs from Peckinpah padawan Walter Hill and you have a recipe for success, but somehow it doesn’t quite fit together. The script takes the bare bones of the story but doesn’t really explore the characters and their motives and the comic strip treatment is not helped by its episodic nature.

A sense of humour would’ve helped, but in reality it suffers greatly in comparison to the far superior original and Sergio Leone’s classic reinvention.

5.5/10

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