Last Man Standing (1996)

A brilliant failure.  Director Walter Hill, who was in much better 
form last year with his little-seen WILD BILL, has remade YOJIMBO 
not once but *twice* in the same film.  First, as a dusty, dry-
throated Western (been there, done that, in A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS) 
and, secondly, as a hard-boiled Prohibition-era thriller complete 
with fedoras, tommy guns, and Model-A Fords.  The age-old plot 
again involves a wandering stranger who happens upon a violent 
rivalry and promptly pits each side against each other.  Sound 
familiar?  This time, it's a pair of Chicago gangs competing for 
Mexican booze in a nearly-deserted Texas town.  Film fans could 
devote an entire evening to discussing why this movie fails from 
the get-go.  Here's my initial impression:  we want the central 
character (Bruce Willis, miscast) to be a mystery man, which he 
can't be as long as he's narrating the damn thing.  Our eyes see 
Sergio Leone, but our ears hear Mike Hammer.  If you will.  For 
anyone who needs more than just gunplay to ground a movie, it's a 
confounding waste of time.  We left and asked for our money back.  
(Rated "R"/101 min.)

Grade:  W/O (Walked Out)

Copyright 1996 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: September 23, 1996

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