If “Gangster Squad” is “The Magnificent…Six,” then “Last Stand” must be “Rio Arnold”

As I mentioned in my review of “Gangster Squad” last week, the screenplay was plainly built around classic Western conventions — one Western film in particular.

That would be “The Magnificent Seven,” which of course was based on “The Seven Samurai,” but was also a major benefactor/contributor to Old West film iconography.

Josh Brolin is the John Wayne/Yul Bryner gunman beyond corruption, Ryan Goslin is Steve McQueen, Michael Pena is oh, Horst Bucholtz.

The dead give away in “Gangster Squad” is the presence of a switchblade specialist on “the team” — James Coburn, then, Anthony Mackie, now.

“The Last Stand” similarly borrows from classic Westerns, at least in structure and character “types.” I see a lot of the Howard Hawks/John Wayne Westerns “Rio Bravo” and “Rio Lobo,” with a hint of “El Dorado” — though we’re missing the alcoholic (of the first and last films).

There’s the man alone, prepared to face his fate standing up to the bad guy by himself, but helped by assorted male and female sidekicks. The Duke, or The Terminator.

There’s “The Kid,” as in “You aren’t READY, kid” (Zach Gilford), the coward who turns out not to be (Luis Guzman).

arnold-schwarzenegger-trailer-for-last-standAnd the grizzled gun nut.  Jack Elam in “Rio Lobo,” Johnny Knoxville here.

Seen both films? Tell me I’ve got it wrong. Elam

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
This entry was posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news. Bookmark the permalink.