Is it a comeback for Arnold or massive failure? In terms of a Schwarzenegger movie it's a roaring success. For the 65 year old actor he makes a very good comeback considering his limited acting abilities.
The film initially has two parts, one being a CIA operation in Los Angeles and the transport of a federal prisoner and the second is about a small town Sheriff (Arnold) and the town he lives in complete with an inept police department. Naturally the prisoner escapes custody and meanwhile strange characters show up in the small town.
From the opening scene itself the movie holds high promise and holds a certain amount of suspense that it manages to hold throughout the film. Credit should go here to the director (Jee-woon Kim), cinematographer (Ji-yong Kim)and the composer (MOWG) all of whom are Korean. The only area where this doesn't hold true are in the villain's scenes which continuously break the suspension of disbelief that is built up very well everywhere else in the movie.
Scenes in LA are very reminiscent of The Dark Knight robbery both in terms of the way it's shot and the musical score. But then again that film was heavily influenced by the film 'Heat'. Regardless this is the style used for these parts of the film.
There are plenty of car sequences in the movie, with the second by far being the best and if you ever wondered what a 'Need for Speed' movie would look like this scene would be a good indicator.
Latter car sequences look like they straight came from Bollywood in terms of their implausibility and are easily the worst parts of the film. Though there is one interesting game of cat and mouse. It's an all American Muscle affair which is not a bad thing. Sections where cars blaze down the road put the fifth entry of the Fast and the Furious series to shame.
Now on to Arnold. His performance is much as can be expected though its certainly better than in Expendables 2. He delivers one liners in spades. His action sequences are heavily toned down which is a good thing considering his age. Beyond that it's pretty much standard Arnie. He hasn't really gotten any better. Other actors with notable performances are Peter Stormare and Forest Whitaker who really help add credibility to the film.
The shootouts in the film are all well done with very believable tactics being used including and cover and suppression fire. There are also minute sniper on sniper battles which I haven't seen since since 'Enemy of the Gates'. In these shootout sequences everything is very plausible and all of the film's high points take place in the town.
There is also a steady supply of light hearted moments which convey the fact that the movie doesn't take itself too seriously. This is a good thing considering the lead actor.
The biggest weakness in the movie is easily the villain. It's a seemingly large blight on an otherwise very enjoyable film given the scale of his scenes in comparison to the movie. Still definitely worth a watch especially if you ever liked Arnold Schwarzenegger.