Last Action Hero (1993)

last action hero poster 1993 movie
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 3/10
Visuals: 3/10

Watch a big movie go bad

Poor acting, too long, looks bad

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Last Action Hero

Studio:  Columbia Pictures

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  June 18, 1993

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Arnold Schwarzenegger is Jack Slater…and Arnold…

Danny Madigan (Austin O’Brien) loves action films and his favorite is the no-nonsense Jack Slater character played by Arnold Schwarzenegger.  When Danny’s friend Nick (Robert Prosky) tells Danny that he can get him into his test screening of Jack Slater IV, Danny sneaks out of his house to see it.  With a magic ticket given to Nick by Houdini, Danny finds himself trapped in the Jack Slater film trying to convince Slater that he is in a movie.  While working to foil mob boss Tony Vivaldi (Anthony Quinn) and his assassin Benedict (Charles Dance), Danny discovers that the ticket goes both ways as Benedict escapes into the real world.  Now Slater and Danny much travel back to New York City and stop Benedict before he can assassinate Arnold Schwarzenegger…but Benedict has an ally in the Ripper (Tom Noonan)…the man responsible for Slater’s son’s death in Jack Slater III.


How can I even be out acted by a Sylvester Stallone cut out?

Directed by John McTiernan, Last Action Hero became a legendary bomb.  The movie was released to scathing reviews and poor box office numbers.  Despite ending up profiting, the film was seen as a failure and garnered Razzie nominations for Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Actor (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Worst Screenplay, Worst Original Song (“Big Gun”), and Worst New Star (Austin O’Brien).

Last Action Hero is a mess.  The movie is everything that is/was wrong with Hollywood at the time.  A script with potential is bogged down for an action star to make a big movie, a kid’s picture, and a summer blockbuster.


Arnold…what was that Enquirer reporter saying about you and our maid?

I will say that the movie has some fun aspects in its story.  I like the idea of the world and the film world overlapping and some of the end has fun moments.  The problem is that the set-up for the movie is too much.  The movie must first introduce the idea, Danny has to get into the movie, Danny and Slater have to finish the Slater IV movie, and then the real world stuff has to occur…it is way too much and the Slater IV stuff takes too long.

Despite the big budget, Last Action Hero isn’t explosive enough.  I like the “Jack Slater World” explosions versus the real world natural fighting, but if I went to a movie and saw Jack Slater IV, I’d say the effects were pretty poor.  With all the hype surrounding the movie when it was being released, I thought it would be amazing…it also didn’t help that Jurassic Park was released the week before.


Let’s get ripping!

The primary problem with the film is acting.  Schwarzenegger isn’t very good as funny in my opinion and his timing is pretty awful.  Schwarzenegger’s bad acting is paired with Austin O’Brien as the shiny faced happy sidekick who is more obnoxious and whiny than anything else (“That proves it’s a movie right?”…no kid, he’s not believing you so stop it).   Benedict is an ok villain, but really loses out to the Ripper in later scenes.  Tom Noonan is fun as the Ripper, but scenes he’s in are pretty poor.  F. Murray Abraham is pretty wasted as a turncoat (though I do like the Amadeus references).  Other cameos and smaller roles include Tina Turner, Danny DeVito (as Whiskers the animated cat), Sharon Stone, Sylvester Stallone (as the Arnold Schwarzenegger of Slater’s world), Robert Patrick, Ian McKellen (as Death from The Seventh Seal), Jean-Claude Van Damme, MC Hammer, Angie Everhart, Leeza Gibbons, James Belushi, Chevy Chase, Timothy Dalton, and Damon Waynes.  The movie also features the last acting role for Art Carney as Slater’s doomed favorite cousin Frank.

I saw Last Action Hero in the theater.  Despite having some failures in the past, this movie proved to be a real chink in Schwarzenegger’s string of hits.  Instead of cheering with him, the audience was laughing at him, and not the way the script intended.  The movie is just pretty bad which is too bad because some of the concepts are fun.  If you want a good laugh and want to see a big movie go bad, check out Last Action Hero.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response