Plot: What’s it about?
California has survived numerous earthquakes over time, but sooner or later, one of them was bound to take its toll. That is just what happens when a massive quake rocks California, leaving the state an island and most of the cities demolished. Now the island of California is a hard place to live, thanks to minimal resources and a constant haze of dust, which hangs overhead. In addition to these harsh elements, there is also a vicious plague that exists, leaving the infected with awful boils and eventual death. In the midst of all this chaos is Captain Nick Preston (Dolph Lundgren), a former Green Beret who leads a small band of survivors in search of food, water, and medical supplies. As this group moves around the land and tries to remain alive, they encounter all manner of challenges, from plague ridden locals to a maniac with hundreds of followers. Will these folks ever be able to live normal lives again, or will they perish in the barren landscape, like so many others?
This movie starts off with some potential, but soon sinks into average territory, which is a real disappointment. I’ve always liked Dolph Lundgren and even in this era of his direct to video films, I try to see his movies and see how they pan out. The Last Warrior (also known as The Last Patrol) is not one of his finest hours and while it has some good moments, it is the kind of movie you only need to see once. Lundgren is joined by a cast of low profile workers and unknowns, with a small budget and minimalist direction, none of which help matters much. There’s some nice explosions and a couple decent action scenes, but I was often bored here and I usually like low rent action flicks, if that tells you anything. An all around disappointment, The Last Warrior is recommend as a rental, but even then, only to diehard genre addicts.
He used to be a decent level star, but now Dolph Lundgren is pretty much a direct to video performer, which is a shame. I know his skills aren’t too impressive, but he can work in the action movies well enough, when given a chance. His career has had some high points and he was in some high profile pictures, but these days he’s down the ladder a ways, to say the least. Lundgren never caught on like some action stars and I don’t know why, as he is just as good as most of them and even better than some. His work here is solid, but this material isn’t much to go on, so don’t expect too much from Lundgren. You can also see Lundgren in such films as Universal Soldier, Rocky IV, The Punisher, Masters of the Universe, and Men of War. The cast also includes Sherri Alexander (Layover), Rebecca Cross (I Love Trouble, The Bachelor), and Brook Susan Parker (The Silencer, Strange Days).
Video: How does it look?
The Last Warrior is presented in a full frame transfer, as intended. This was a low budget production and it shows, as this looks less refined than most larger budget pictures, but the image here is still solid. The main issue is grain, as the film stock used here causes it to be pretty heavy at times, although it often seems to mesh with the visuals, I think. In other words, sometimes it seems to be intentional and other times it doesn’t, so I am unsure of the ratio of either, to be honest. The washed out visual scheme is well preserved here, with muted colors and an off kilter contrast scale, both of which are needed. This is a more than solid visual presentation, given the film’s low budget roots and rather tricky visual style.
Audio: How does it sound?
This is an action movie, but you wouldn’t know it from the included audio option. Even when the action picks up, this audio track remains conservative and as such, the scenes lack the atmosphere needed. But on a basic level, the elements are in order I suppose, just not on the usual home theater scale. The music is well presented, while sound effects are on the mark, though they have minimal range, as I mentioned. I heard no errors with dialogue either, as vocals were clean and crisp throughout. I think a more active and dynamic track could have enhanced the experience, but the included option is acceptable, though unmemorable.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes some talent files, as well as the film’s trailer.