Last Man Standing 1996

A Robot Outlaw Movie Review

Last Man Standing 1996

Last Man Standing 1996 stars Bruce Willis, Bruce Dern and the incomparable Christopher Walkin. Willis, Walkin and Dern all turn in outstanding performances and this is a movie worth having in your collection. It’s both a Western and a Gangster Film and it delivers plenty of action.

Last Man Standing 1996 Movie Poster

Starring: Bruce Willis, Bruce Dern, Christopher Walkin

Directed by: Walter Hill

Genre: Action / Drama

Rating: R

Run Time: 101 min

Year Released: 1996

Synopsis: John Smith (Bruce Willis) finds himself in the middle of a bootleg gang war. The Irish and the Italians are about to erupt into an all out battle and Smith sees it as an opportunity to make some easy money.

“Last Man Standing” is a 1996 American action film written and directed by Walter Hill and starring Bruce Willis. The movie is inspired by the Akira Kurosawa film “Yojimbo,” which itself was inspired by the Dashiell Hammett novel “Red Harvest.”

In “Last Man Standing,” Bruce Willis plays John Smith, a drifter who arrives during the Prohibition era in the small, dusty Texas town of Jericho. The town is dominated by two rival gangs: one Italian, led by Strozzi, and the other Irish, led by Doyle. Smith, an enigmatic and skilled gunman, decides to play the two gangs against each other to profit from the ensuing chaos.

Smith’s actions lead to a series of violent confrontations, as he manipulates both sides, switching allegiances to escalate the conflict. His strategy initially appears successful, and he gains financially, but the situation quickly spirals out of control. The violence escalates, leading to the decimation of both gangs and most of the town’s inhabitants.

As the story unfolds, Smith forms a bond with a local woman, Felina, who has been forced into servitude by the gang leaders. His involvement becomes more personal, and his motives shift from profit to revenge and protection of the innocent.

The film culminates in a bloody showdown where Smith, using his formidable skills, faces off against the remaining gang members. In the end, he emerges as the “last man standing,” having destroyed both gangs and freeing the town from their grip.

The movie combines elements of the Western and gangster genres, characterized by its stylized violence, antihero protagonist, and the desolate, morally ambiguous atmosphere of Jericho.

Our Rating: 10 out of 10. The movies nostalgia captures the essence of 40’s gangster movies and Bruce Willis plays this cool character without flaw. Director Martin Scorses is quoted as saying “Bruce Willis is the Humprhey Bogart of our time”. Mr. Willis lives up to that quote and then some in this great film.

10 out of 10 emphasizes the high regard for the movie, considering it to be outstanding with a perfect score. The movie’s success in capturing the essence of 1940s gangster films contributes significantly to this positive evaluation. These films, known for their gritty storylines, distinctive characters, and shadowy aesthetics, have left a lasting impact on the genre, and the movie’s ability to evoke that period’s atmosphere is seen as a key strength.

Bruce Willis’s performance embodies his character with a cool, flawless demeanor, reminiscent of the iconic figures from classic gangster cinema. The mention of Bruce Willis as the “Humphrey Bogart of our time” is a significant compliment, drawing a parallel between Willis’s performance and the legendary screen presence of Bogart, who was renowned for his roles in classic noir and gangster films. This comparison is underscored by a quote from director Martin Scorsese, a figure well-versed in film history and especially in the gangster genre, enhancing the weight of the compliment.

Willis’s portrayal is highlighted as not just living up to this high praise, but exceeding it, indicating that his performance is not only a mimicry of classic tropes but also a standout representation in its own right. This level of performance, combined with the film’s successful capture of a bygone era’s cinematic style, contributes to our view of the movie as “great.”

In summary, our review reflects a high appreciation for the movie’s ability to channel the spirit of 1940s gangster cinema through its atmospheric presentation and Bruce Willis’s commanding performance, which together create a memorable film experience that earns it a top rating.