Arnold Schwarzenegger's cartoonish comeback, by way of South Korea

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Arnold Schwarzenegger and Johnny Knoxville: a couple of jackasses?
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger and Johnny Knoxville: a couple of jackasses?
Making his Hollywood debut, South Korean director Kim Jee-woon (I Saw the Devil, The Good, the Bad, the Weird) has good fun with such American iconography as the Arizona desert, oversize guns, and Arnold Schwarzenegger; but the film still feels like a South Korean action comedy in its funky compositions and fluid camerawork, which privilege spatial coherence over moment-to-moment sensation. The story suggests a Looney Tunes reworking of Howard Hawks's Rio Bravo, with Schwarzenegger playing a small-town sheriff forced to stop a violent drug cartel on its way to the Mexican border. This is enjoyable, if also rather thin; for all his craftsmanship and comic energy, Kim never endows the familiar material with any thematic urgency or personal investment. The lively supporting cast includes Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville, and Luis Guzman. This opens commercially tomorrow.

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