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John McTiernan
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charles Dance, Austin O'Brien
Writing Credits:
Shane Black, David Arnott

With the help of a magic ticket, a young movie fan is transported into the fictional world of his favorite action movie character.

Box Office:
$85 million.
Opening Weekend:
$15,338,241 on 2306 screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby Atmos
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Czech Dolby 5.1
Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1
French DTS-HD MA 5.1
Quebecois Dolby 2.0
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Castillian DTS-HD MA 5.1
German DTS-HD MA 5.1
Hungarian Dolby 5.1
Italian Dolby 5.1
Polish Dolby 5.1
Thai Dolby 2.0
Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional
Supplements Subtitles:
Chinese Simplified

Runtime: 130 min.
Price: $30.99
Release Date: 6/15/2021

• Audio Commentary with Director John McTiernan
• Original 1993 Featurette
• Deleted & Alternate Scenes
• AC/DC Music Video
• Trailer & Previews
• Blu-ray Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Last Action Hero [4K UHD] (1993)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 9, 2023)

Prior to the summer of 1993, many expected to see a box-office showdown between Jurassic Park and Last Action Hero. Basically, the media billed the season as Arnie vs. the T-Rex, with all the other films left to pick up their crumbs.

It didn't quite turn out that way. Jurassic Park went on to make nearly $1 billion worldwide and earned a spot among the top grossing films of all-time.

On the other hand, Last Action Hero wound up with a mere $137 million worldwide, less than twice its then-sky-high $85 million budget, and it almost ruined Schwarzenegger's career. Chief Wiggum summed it up for millions of mocking moviegoers: "Magic ticket my ass!"

Young Danny (Austin O’Brien) adores movies, and he can’t wait for the new Jack Slater effort from Arnold Schwarzenegger. His projectionist pal Nick (Robert Prosky) gives Danny the chance to preview Jack Slater IV at an exclusive midnight screening.

To enter this show, Danny must use a special ticket. It turns out that it possesses magical properties, and Danny ends up sucked into the world of the film.

There he interacts with Jack Slater himself (Schwarzenegger). Danny tries to figure out how to get back to the real world and stop some baddies who want to leave the movie themselves and wreck havoc on our side of the screen.

It may not be a popular position to take, but I have to admit that I actually liked Last Action Hero. I didn't bother to see it theatrically until it had made it to the bargain theaters, but I felt pleasantly surprised. It was no classic, but it was much more entertaining and watchable than the absurd mess I expected to find.

I think Last Action Hero offered a film that confused the audience. Previews made it hard to tell if the film was a comedy, an action film, a spoof, or fantasy.

The film itself made the situation worse. Frequently movies come with bad ad campaigns that misrepresent those flicks, but not only did Last Action Hero's promotional message muddy the issue, the film itself frequently seems unclear as to what it wants to be.

Most likely this happened because the filmmakers really tried to have it all. They wanted Last Action Hero to be the biggest, boldest, most exciting action film made, but they also wanted to make a loving spoof of the genre.

As such, the film offers plenty of straight action scenes - especially toward the end - along with liberal doses of attempted wackiness and irreverence.

In the end, we end up with a very mixed bag. In truth, I find the concept compelling, and the makers of Scream used a similar self-referential tone to great effect.

The main problem comes from the way that Hero attempts to reach beyond the grasp of its participants. Had Last Action Hero been made by more skilled and deft filmmakers, it could have been exciting and funny all at the same time. The issue stems from the fact that at no point is the film half as clever or witty as its creators seem to think it is.

Nonetheless, I find Last Action Hero to be a compelling and exciting joy ride much of the time. It's one film that needs to be cliché.

Much of its point here intends to show the hackneyed conventions of action movies, so it gets to revel in these sorts of scenes. Because of the purposefully artificial nature of the film's universe, it also gets to ratchet the action up a notch with ridiculously absurd sequences, as it's all part of the joke.

In the end, it's really best to take Last Action Hero as a fantasy action film and basically ignore the attempts at humor, as these invariably fall flat. Though many of the jokes aim to mock the genre and come from the "so lame they're funny" style of comedy, they don't get there.

This means the jokes just seem bad, period. Get past that and the film can offer a fun diversion.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio A-/ Bonus B-

Last Action Hero appears in both an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. This became a solid reproduction of the film.

Overall sharpness satisfied. A few interior shots felt a little soft, but those remained minor and created no real distractions during this largely well-defined presentation.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Grain seemed natural, and I witnessed no print flaws.

Colors tended to be positive, as the film offered a fairly natural palette – albeit one that remained semi-subdued in the “real world” and a bit more elevated in “Slater world”. HDR added heft and emphasis to the hues.

Blacks were deep and firm, and shadows appeared solid. HDR brought extra impact to whites and contrast. I felt pleased with this strong image.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Last Action Hero came with very few reasons for complaint. Audio quality was solid, with speech that seemed natural and concise.

Music felt rich and vibrant, and effects provided good pop. Those elements came across as full and clear, with appealing low-end..

The soundfield provided a nearly constant level of activity. With one action scene after another, the flick offered an environment that used all the channels in a satisfying manner.

Gunfire and explosions filled the room, and car chases zoomed around the setting. Quieter sequences seemed pleasing as well; rain and other elements used the speakers to flesh out the environments. Even after 30 years, this remained a top-notch auditory experience.

How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray from 2010? The Atmos soundtrack became a little more involving, though the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundfield boasted nearly as much activity. I thought low-end response worked better for the 4K, though, as the BD’s bass could seem a bit too overcranked.

The 4K’s visuals became the more obvious step up in quality, as it looked better defined, cleaner, and more vibrant than the Blu-ray. Though the BD worked fairly well, the 4K easily beat it.

On the 4K disc, we find a mix of extras, and we open with an audio commentary from director John McTiernan. He offers a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, stunts and action, editing, music and related domains.

My only complaint here stems from a fair amount of dead air. McTiernan goes quiet too much of the time.

However, when the director speaks, he offers a shockingly blunt view of his film. This commentary feels more like self-flagellation at times, as McTiernan frequently relates all the mistakes he made.

Essentially McTiernan feels Hero should’ve been more comedy/fantasy and less action. Given that I think the movie’s attempts at humor tend to flop, I don’t know if I agree, but I do concur that the flick’s inconsistent tone harms it.

McTiernan does offer some praise – mainly for the actors – and throws out some useful production notes. I like his discussion of his preferred editing style.

Still, it’s McTiernan’s willingness to criticize his own film that makes the commentary memorable. Rarely do directors self-evaluate in such a frank manner, and this aspect of the track means it becomes memorable.

From 1993, a Behind the Scenes Featurette lasts six minutes, 36 seconds and offers notes from McTiernan, producer Stephen J. Roth and actors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charles Dance, and Austin O’Brien.

We get basics about story and characters as well as cast and performances. Expect a lot of promotional hype and little insight.

Six Deleted and Alternate Scenes fill a total of nine minutes, eight seconds. “It’s Payback Time” becomes the longest of these at 4:09, and it brings more of Danny and Jack in the “real world”.

It attempts a bit more depth/emotion as well as some added exposition. Another allows us greater screen time for Danny’s mother at the end of the story, but this feels like a sluggish finale to the movie.

As for the rest, they tend toward a little more story material and some action. None of those pieces feel especially substantial, though.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we get a music video for “Big Guns” by AC/DC. It mixes movie clips with a stage performance from the band as well as some unique footage of Schwarzenegger in character.

The latter acts as a relatively minor aspect of the video – and seems reminiscent of the promo for GnR’s “You Could Be Mine” created for 1991’s Terminator 2.

Nonetheless, Schwarzenegger adds some spice, especially when he emulates guitarist Angus Young. The song seems forgettable and the video does little to excel, but it becomes decent.

The included Blu-ray copy replicates the 2010 disc and includes no real extras, as it only provides a collection of Previews. It presents ads for Snatch, The Da Vinci Code, Ghostbusters, A River Runs Through It, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Angels & Demons, Michael Jackson’s This Is It, Zombieland, The Stepfather, Armored, Soul Power, and It Might Get Loud. No trailer for Hero shows up here.

If you were like most people and skipped Last Action Hero because of all the negative reactions, you may want to give it a chance and see what you think. I won’t claim it delivers a classic, but I think it seems more entertaining than its reputation would indicate. The 4K UHD comes with solid picture, excellent audio and a few bonus materials. This doesn’t turn into a great movie, but it usually works, and the 4K becomes its best reproduction to date.

To rate this film, visit the DVD review of LAST ACTION HERO

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main