Last Action Hero

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Details At A Glance

Category Action Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 1
Rating Other Trailer(s) No
Year Released 1993 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 125:36 minutes Other Extras Featurette-Behind The Scenes (6:21)
Music Video-AC/DC "Big Gun" (4:35)
Talent Files
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (57:22)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,4 Director John McTiernan

Columbia TriStar
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger
F. Murray Abraham
Art Carney
Charles Dance
Frank McRae
Tom Noonan
Robert Prosky
Anthony Quinn
Mercedes Ruehl
RRP $34.95 Music Michael Kamen

Pan & Scan/Full Frame No MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s) 
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 256 Kb/s)
German (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 256 Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 256 Kb/s)
Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 256 Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking Yes
Subtitles English
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    Is this movie an excuse for Arnold Schwarzenegger to get actioned-up yet again? If so, who cares!

    In a nutshell, a boy who idolizes action super-hero Jack Slater (Arnold Schwarzenegger) manages to be thrown into the world of the movies. From here he becomes involved in Slater's latest movie whilst at the same time bringing his hero into the real world. This movie is choc-a-bloc full of explosions, gun fighting, car chases, and all the classic Big Arnie action stunts. This is not the kind of movie where you have to suspend your disbelief periodically. Rather, it is one that doesn't require your brain to be anywhere near your head. Just let Arnie do his thing, and you will be sure to enjoy.

    Also, be sure to catch some of the many cameo roles throughout this movie. My favourite - a couple of Terminator 2 appearances including a poster showing Sylvester Stallone as the Terminator. Very funny stuff.

Transfer Quality


    A very nice transfer overall, falling just short of reference quality.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture is uniformly sharp and well defined. Shadow detail is slightly below par, but acceptable. Given that a lot of this movie takes place in dim conditions, a small improvement here would have been welcome. There was no low-level noise apart from one scene where a digitally inserted Humphrey Bogart makes a brief appearance, stretching the digital technology of the day but nonetheless being very impressive. There was the slightest hint of edge enhancement which had the effect of blurring fine detail in bright distant shots, but this is only apparent on close inspection.

    The colours are very nicely rendered indeed. I felt that the colour balance was essentially perfect, with nice flesh tones and clear blues and reds.

     There were no MPEG artefacts during this movie. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of the very slightest aliasing in some scenes. There was a distinct absence of film artefacts.

    This disc is RSDL. The layer change occurs at 57:22 minutes, between Chapters 16 and 17. It is well placed and is not disruptive to the flow of the movie.


    The soundtrack is well on par with the video, again just falling short of reference.

    There are a total of five audio tracks on this disc: English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded, German Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded. I listened to the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 track.

    Dialogue was at times difficult to understand, especially Big Arnie's delivery of some lines due to his accent. However, the dialogue was nicely integrated and natural sounding.

    There were no problems with audio sync during the movie.

    The music by Michael Kamen was unremarkable. It never really called much attention to itself, but was effective given the nature of the movie.

    The surrounds got excellent use throughout the movie. I was interested to note that, amongst others, the movie was released theatrically with a Dolby Stereo mix. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix we have makes much use of the split-surrounds for sound effects, and sounds very contemporary. Bullets whiz past, and often sounds pan from rear to front. There is full use of the frequency range making for a thrilling audio presentation.

    The subwoofer was used superbly for explosions and general sound effects. Never did it call attention to itself. Again, well integrated into the mix.


    There is a decent collection of extras here.


    The static menu design is a little staid, but themed appropriately. Navigation is typical Columbia TriStar simplicity.

U.S. Theatrical Trailer (3:12)

    Presented in 1.78:1 and Dolby Surround 2.0, this is a very good trailer.

Featurette - Behind The Scenes (6:21)

    A slightly better-than-average promotional exercise, made up of mostly excerpts from the movie, and of limited value.

Music Video - AC/CD "Big Gun" (4:35)

    An eminently forgettable music video. However, fans of AC/DC will not be disappointed as it is one of the better quality music videos and sounds fine.

Talent Profiles

R4 vs R1

    The R4 version misses out on:     The R1 version misses out on:     The Region 4 version is far superior to the early and TOTALLY featureless R1 version. The inclusion of Pan & Scan on the R1 version is clearly insultive.


    An entertaining Big Arnie action movie, and well worth a watch.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio is excellent.

    The extras are decent.

Ratings (out of 5)

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© Paul Cordingley
28th November 1999
Review Equipment
DVD Panasonic A350A; S-Video output
Display Pioneer SD-T43W1 125cm Widescreen 16x9
Audio Decoder Internal Dolby Digital 5.1 (DVD Player)
Amplification Sony STRDE-525 Dolby Pro-Logic / 5.1 Ready Receiver, 4 x Optimus 10-band Graphic EQ
Speakers Centre: Sony SS-CN35 100 watt, Main/Surrounds: Pioneer CS-R390-K 150-watt floorstanders, Subwoofer: Optimus 100-watt passive