There's no doubt that Director John McTiernan has made some fine films(Die Hard), but he's also been over-rated (HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER). "THE LAST ACTION HERO" is the kind of action film that's hard to categorize, but it's great at what it sets out to do.
Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as action hero, Jack Slater, a parody of his own iconic image. A young boy, Danny(Austin O' Brien) is a huge fan, having seen Slater's last film numerous times in the theater. A likeable kid, Danny has befriended the old projectionist at the theater, Nick(Robert Prosky). Having to do a print-check for the newest Slater film about to open, Nick invites Danny to attend this special private screening, and gives the boy a ticket once given to him by by the great Harry Houdini. With a "magical" tint, separating "LAST ACTION HERO" from virtually all other action films, Danny ends up in the back of Slater's car during a shootout, he had just been watching seconds before from the theater seats! So, it's up to Danny to convince Slater they're both part of a movie, and to work as a team to stop the villain's of Slater's world, so Danny can return safely to his own.
The film within the film isn't worth commenting on, as it's silly, and of no importance to the bigger picture taking place. "LAST ACTION HERO" is a straight-out parody of the action genre of the period, and in that respect, it's excellent. Schwarzenegger's willingness and ability to wink at and have fun with the genre responsible for placing him on the map, along with the directing talents of someone responsible for the exact kinds of films being parodied here, make everything work in a cohesive, funny, witty manner!
While it would be easy to pick the film apart for its "fantasy" elements, one has to remember watching John McClane fighting the bad guy on the wing of a moving plane in winter in Die Hard 2, or Riggs and Murtaugh doing practically anything they do the Lethal Weapon series, is hardly more realistic than what happens here.
SONY has provided the correct 2.40:1 aspect ratio for this AVC MPEG-4 1080p blu-ray. The two worlds depicted in the film are intentionally, "vastly" different from one another, in terms of color vibrancy, detail and overall depth. The real world veers towards a duller, flat look. Nothing at all remarkable about Danny's real world. However, the film within the film, offers colors pushed to extremes, without oversaturation, notable better contrast, and impressive detail. The depth is also notably better than in the "alternate" world depicted. However, the image never presents the kind of impressive "jump-off-the-screen" depth one hopes for with blu-ray, and that SONY has provided with lesser known catalogue films on blu-ray. It's not a bad transfer, by any means, however not significantly better than the dvd in terms of the image quality.
SONY has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. At least this mix is a terrific upgrade over laserdisc and dvd! From beginning to end, the lossy mix blends the deep bass action effects one hopes for with this kind of genre, alongside a great score, other nuanced effects and dialogue, for an extremely aggressive atmosphere. Some of these effects momentarily drown out each other in a few scenes. However, the dialogue and terrific soundtrack are presented with flawless balance.
Trailers for other Sony releases in 1080p and BD-LIVE capability are included.