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The Last Warrior
review by Anthony D.
Studio: Artisan Home Entertainment
Running Time: 99 minutes
Starring Dolph Lundgren, Sherri Alexander, Joe Michael
Burke, Rebecca Cross
Written by Stephen J. Brakely and Pamela K. Long
Directed by Sheldon Lettich
Retail Price: $24.98
Features: Trailer, Production Notes, Cast and Crew
Specs: 1.33:1 Full Frame, English Dolby Digital 2.0,
English Closed Captions, Chapter Selection (34 Chapters)
A great chef can take diverse source elements and create
an enticing new entree; unfortunately, however, a film
director can also take various source elements from a couple
of writers but come up with something not fit for human
consumption. They say that too many cooks spoil the brew,
sometimes it takes a crew of writers and one director to
muddle the movie. Case in point, director Sheldon Lettich's
"The Last Warrior," being released (from God knows where) by
Artisan Home Entertainment.
The main ingredient star-wise, is the square-jawed,
bountifully buffed Dolph Lundgren, who talent was used far
better in a cameo role in a Keanu Reeves movie, "Johnny
Pneumonic." Cast as a sorta "Rambo" wannabe, Lundgren is
supported by a cast of unknowns whose reputations shouldn't
suffer any losses by their appearances herein. I'll not add
insult to injury by naming names.
"The Last Warrior," which incidentally is known by
several other names (i.e.,"The Last Patrol"), tires
unsuccessfully to meld elements from "Demolition Man" with
its futuristic prisons; "Rambo" with its renegade Marine, "
"Dante's Peak" with its apocalyptic special effects, "Mad
Max Beyond Thunderdome" with its desert settings, which
would be right at home on an early episode of TV's "Star
Trek;" and, believe it or not, a nod to "Waterworld" with a
urine drinking scene!
A film so full of subplots that its ninety-five minute
running time feels more like twelve hours, could have made
for a great Friday Night Bad Movie Fest, offers nothing
original to the action genre. The central plot concerns the
Island of California following a 9.5 Richter rumbling
earthquake that had finally broken The Golden State off the
map. A rag-tag band of citizens have gathered at a warfare
junkyard ("Terminator 2: Judgement Day") to find food,
shelter and a cure for an insidious plague. On top of all of
that, there's the shifting axis of the earth, mutations, a
pseudo-religiosity and private prisons (see also "Escape
from New York" and "Escape from L.A.").
Director Lettich, whose Claude van Damme "Double Impact"
I actually enjoyed, is forced to use meaningless voice overs
to try to tidy up the plot, and like the original cut of
"Blade Runner," these noir-inspired narrations only add to
the confusion foisted un him by the writers. Nick Preston
(Lundgren), a former mercenary with a chip on his shoulder,
along with a group of desert denizens group together to find
the necessities of life following a cataclysmic earthquake;
and to fight for a cure for a bubonic type plague, using
whatever wits they have left. The movie never really feels
like it was directed, rather it seems that it was written,
photographed and acted by committee.
In spite of a widescreen trailer, "The Last Warrior" has
been presented in a full-frame transfer with no
neck-breaking panning and scanning. Detail is sharp, though
the picture is on the bright side. Special effects have that
certain "made-for-television" look, recalling the early
limited budget days of "The X Files." This is very clean
transfer, which keeps the fleshtones accurate, even during
its gratuitous shower scene.
An effective Dolby two-channel Dolby Digital soundtrack
is included. For better or for worse, that which passes as
dialogue is clear and intelligible. The bass response is
quite good, with more than adequate sub-woofer action.
Explosions occur with well-produced, effective sound
effects. Dialogue, as if we really wanted to hear it, is
clear, concise and rendered intelligible.
A widescreen trailer is offered in the Special Features
which is a great example of marketing: the two minutes of
action in the trailer make the movie seem to be one hundred
percent better than it actually is. If I had seen this
preview before seeing the movie, I would have put "The Last
Warrior" onto a "might want to see" list. Text pages
incorporate the Cast and Crew and Production Notes, so that
viewers might have a better idea of those responsible for
the film. I have to toss kudos Artisan's way for the
abundant amount of Chapters available; for a film running
ninety-five minutes, there are an astounding thirty-four
chapters - - thus approximating one chapter every three
A better film boasted, "The Coast is Toast," however with
"The Last Warrior," popcorn should definitely be on the
menu. Take "The Last Warrior" out for a test drive with a
rental, gather around with a few good friends (or even a few
enemies for that matter) and catch up with the sagging
career of Dolph Lundgren.
(2/5 - NOT included in
(2.5/5, NOT an average)