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Last Action Hero

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    84
    from 7 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Fun yet flawed, Last Action Hero shines in Sony's 4K release with top-notch visuals, sound, and extras.

    Last Action Hero 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    93
  • Last Action Hero's 4K UHD release impressively upgrades its visual presentation, enhancing depth, color accuracy, and detail, providing the best home video version yet.

  • Audio
    92
  • Last Action Hero's 4K Blu-ray boasts a dynamic Dolby Atmos track, enhancing its action-packed scenes with immersive audio, clear dialogue, and a fun mix of sound effects and music.

  • Extra
    81
  • Sony's 4K release of 'Last Action Hero' adds fresh depth with a new audio commentary, remastered deleted scenes, and extras, despite a few dry spells.

  • Movie
    83
  • Last Action Hero, despite its innovative premise and star-studded team, faltered due to bad timing, conflicted visions, and rushed production, but remains a cult favorite for its audacious blend of action spoof and meta-commentary.

    Video: 93

    Last Action Hero" emerges on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a presentation that marks a significant enhancement over its predecessors, delivered by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The visual upgrade presents the movie in its native 4K resolution, flowing through at 3840x2160/24p BT.2020, capturing the widescreen 2.39:1 original aspect ratio. This release harnesses HDR, utilizing the HEVC (H.265) codec for HDR10, adding depth to its color reproduction and improving dynamic range. The application of 10-bit video depth alongside a Wide Color Gamut (WCG) breathes new life into its palette. The fidelity of this release shines on sophisticated viewing setups, thoroughly examined on an LG 55B7 Dolby Vision 4K Ultra HD OLED TV coupled with a Panasonic DP-UB820EB-K player, showcasing an unprecedented level of detail that previous editions couldn't capture, from the nuanced texture of clothing to the intricate backgrounds of LA and NY settings.

    Despite "Last Action Hero’s" intentional pastiche on blockbuster aesthetics, yielding scenes that are not always visually dynamic, this 4K restoration elevates the film's visual narrative. It enhances a variety of tones and settings—from the intentionally dreary real world with its grim and rugged textures to the vibrantly surreal movie world, brimming with richer colors and improved lighting. The contrast between both worlds is accentuated with meticulous attention to detail, bolstering the authenticity and depth of both environments. The transfer excels in managing grain levels, presenting a consistent, filmic quality throughout. Occasional issues like the scarcely soft optical zoom shots do little to detract from the overall improvement in clarity and texture definition—in Slater's attire or the distinct set pieces, which now reveal intricacies erstwhile unnoticed.

    Color rendition benefits significantly from HDR's expanded capabilities, enhancing stability and depth across the film's deliberately varied palette. In the gloomier real world scenes, saturated colors transform into more nuanced shades whereas the brighter movie world scenes benefit from a more vivid and eclectic range of hues, exemplified in explosions and the iconic red of Arnold’s shirt, which pop with newfound intensity. This UHD version retains the film's original grain structure and aesthetic choices without succumbing to compression issues, preserving an organic cinematic experience. Skin tones remain faithful across different lighting conditions, and dark levels achieve a new intensity providing a solid base that amplifies the overall image depth. Despite minor source-related flaws and a few visually compromised shots deriving from hasty reshoots, this release presents "Last Action Hero" in a manner that far surpasses any previous home video iteration, offering fans and newcomers alike a definitive viewing experience that showcases the film’s unique blend of gritty reality and cinematic vibrance in stunning 4K clarity.

    Audio: 92

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Last Action Hero" brings to the table an audio experience that curates a cinema-like atmosphere right in the comfort of your home, mainly attributed to the inclusion of a dynamic Dolby Atmos soundtrack. This soundtrack excels in delivering the film's myriad of sound effects, from the resounding booms of explosions to the deafening roar of gunfire, all while ensuring dialogue remains pristine and center-focused. The Atmos mix, not shy of showcasing its prowess, makes extensive use of overhead channels adding to the grandiose of the action-packed sequences—helicopters zoom across the room, raindrops seem to fall around you, and bullets whiz by, creating an engaging aural spectacle.

    The tracks' design vigorously employs the surround and height channels, concocting an immersive 360-degree soundscape that draws the listener into the thick of the action. The low-frequency effects are powerfully conveyed, pushing subwoofers to their limits with deep, pulsating rhythms that complement the film's high adrenaline moments. The balance between Michael Kamen’s score, the hard rock tracks, and sound effects is meticulously achieved, ensuring a harmonic blend that enhances rather than distracts from the viewing experience. Moreover, the availability of original theatrical mixes alongside the new Atmos track provides viewers with a nostalgic listening option without sacrificing modern audio quality.

    Furthermore, the audio presentation is topped off with a breadth of audio formats and subtitle options catered to a global audience, making this release inclusive. Every aspect of the track, from the clear and articulate dialogue to the intricate details in the environmental ambient sounds, illustrates a careful and deliberate effort to pay homage to the film’s energetic essence. The mixing engineers have decidedly tipped their hats to the source material, enhancing every detail, no matter how minor, to create an 'orchestra' of sonic enjoyment that is as unabashedly over-the-top as the film itself.

    Extra: 81

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Last Action Hero" elevates the home viewing experience with a bounty of extras that honor the film's legacy and provide deeper insights into its creation. Notably, the inclusion of a new audio commentary by director John McTiernan adds considerable value, despite some moments of meandering and silence, reflecting on the film’s diverse production challenges and McTiernan's candid thoughts on the film's reception and his directorial choices. The disc also shines with restored deleted and alternate scenes presented in stunning 4K with HDR10, revealing more about the characters and plot developments that didn't make the final cut. The “Big Gun” music video by AC/DC, though of a lower definition, brings a dose of nostalgia with its intentionally campy homage to rock and cinema. Coupling these with an original behind-the-scenes featurette upscaled to HD and a theatrical trailer, this release not only satisfies long-time fans but potentially garners new ones, despite some missing content like the HBO First Look TV special. The collectible steelbook packaging and inclusion of a redeemable digital code further cement this release as a must-have for collectors and enthusiasts alike.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary: By director John McTiernan
    • Original Behind The Scenes Featurette: Vintage EPK content
    • Deleted Scenes: Includes six scenes and an alternate ending, all in 4K
    • AC/DC Big Gun Music Video: Classic rock meets action cinema
    • Theatrical Trailer: A peek into the film’s initial promotion

    Movie: 83

    Last Action Hero," a 1993 satirical action masterpiece directed by John McTiernan and featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, undertakes an audacious journey into the realms of action movie tropes, cleverly mocking them while at the same time celebrating the genre's excesses. Designed as an affectionate parody of Schwarzenegger’s career and, by extension, the entire action film landscape of its era, the film intricately plays with the idea of blurring the lines between cinematic fantasy and reality. Schwarzenegger stars as Jack Slater, a quintessential invincible movie cop who’s fun at subverting his own bulletproof persona, with Austin O’Brien playing his wide-eyed, movie-obsessed guide into this metafictional adventure. Despite its intent to dismantle clichés through an overt concoction of fantasy, the movie misfires in its execution due to a clash of creative visions and a convoluted development process involving multiple script rewrites by Shane Black and others, leading to tonal inconsistencies and an unclear target audience.

    Transporting its young protagonist, Danny Madigan (O’Brien), into the literal world of his biggest hero, Jack Slater, "Last Action Hero" ambitively leverages the 'film within a film' narrative to explore the contrast between movie heroics and real-world consequences. Charles Dance delivers as the nefarious villain Benedict, whose escape into Danny's reality introduces genuine stakes. This dynamic benefits visually from the 4k UHD Blu-ray release, which boasts 2160p/HDR video quality and Dolby Atmos audio, enhancing McTiernan's vivid direction and the film's elaborate action sequences. The film's humor, from overt gags to subtler references, alongside cameos and insider nods to industry workings, underscores its smart but uneven script efforts to satirize and honor action cinema.

    Despite its ambitious concept and Schwarzenegger’s enthusiastic embrace of a role that lampoons his own action-hero image, "Last Action Hero" suffers from an identity crisis exacerbated by a tumultuous production history marked by hurried editing and creative disagreements. Moreover, its proximity to the release of "Jurassic Park" significantly overshadowed its box office potential. Nevertheless, this film maintains an undeniable charm through its visual grandeur, audacious narrative ambition, and a standout performance by Schwarzenegger. The ultimate irony of "Last Action Hero" lies in its struggle to find a comprehensive tone and audience, rendering it a cult classic - a unique testament to the era it intended to parody, now enhanced in 4K clarity that underscores both its achievements and flaws.

    Total: 84

    Last Action Hero" emerges on 4K UHD Blu-ray with a presentation that, despite the film's mixed critical reception and contentious position within Arnold Schwarzenegger's oeuvre, provides a compelling reason for both long-time fans and newcomers to delve into its high-octane world. Sony's release enhances the experience with a native 4K image that significantly uplifts the film's visual fidelity, accompanied by a Dolby Atmos soundtrack that revitalizes its dynamic audio landscape. This package not only celebrates the film's vibrant satire of action movie conventions but also corrects its historical shortcomings in home video presentations. The bonus contents, including legacy materials and newly released features, alongside the sought-after SteelBook packaging, cater to collectors and enthusiasts aiming for comprehensive archival standards.

    The substantial upgrade in visual and audio quality cannot be overstated; the HDR10 transfer provides the best depiction of the movie's aesthetics to date, with its few inconsistencies now a part of its charm. The Atmos mix particularly stands out, offering an immersive auditory experience that complements the film's bombastic set pieces and soundtrack. This, when combined with insightful extras such as McTiernan's commentary and previously unreleased featurettes, rounds out a package that not only pays homage to the film’s legacy but also elevates it beyond its original home video incarnations. For a film that has historically polarized audiences with its narrative and pacing issues, this release showcases its enduring appeal and the nuanced craftsmanship behind its making.

    In conclusion, Sony’s 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Last Action Hero" transcends mere nostalgia to deliver a definitive edition of a film that cleverly parodies the action genre it inhabits. It rectifies past video releases with technical excellence in both picture and sound, supplemented by worthwhile extras that enrich the viewing experience. For enthusiasts seeking to explore or revisit this unique entry in Schwarzenegger’s filmography, this edition offers an unparalleled opportunity to appreciate its merits in the best possible format. Whether it’s for the quality of the restoration or the sheer joy of the film itself, this release is indeed highly recommended and stands as a testament to the film’s undiminished capacity to entertain.