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Artisan Home Entertainment presents
The Last Warrior (2001)

Nick: You know, Lucky, I don't think it's out there anymore.
Lucky: What do you mean? I mean, America's still got to be there.
Nick: Not the America we knew.

- Dolph Lundgren, Joe Michael Burke

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: August 14, 2001

Stars: Dolph Lundgren, Sherri Alexander, Joe Michael Burke
Other Stars: Rebecca Cross, Terry Bigcharles, Brook Parker, Julliano Merr
Director: Sheldon Lettich

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for (action violence and drug content)
Run Time: 01h:34m:30s
Release Date: August 21, 2001
UPC: 012236119708
Genre: action

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C- C-B-B D-

DVD Review

Dolph Lundgren, once the heir apparent to the low-budget "Ahnuld" throne, has entered into a kinder, gentler phase of his career. He is far removed from his days as Rocky IV's killing machine Drago or the title role of the relentless The Punisher that he seems to have settled into a tepid sea of psuedo action roles. The Last Warrior, also known as The Last Patrol, tries to emulate the desolate post-apocalypse world of The Road Warrior, but only succeeds in creating a lukewarm, relatively non-violent action movie.

The world of The Last Warrior takes place in the infamous "near future", which conveniently allows for the use of modern day equipment and vehicles without having to resort to costly "futuristic" accessories. As we learn in Lundgren's opening narration, the world successfully made it into the new millennium without much trouble, only to suffer a wave of revolt that led to such things as corporate-run prisons (foreshadowing!!!). Lundgren's character, the rock solid Captain Nick Preston, is one of those action movie staples that doesn't play by the rules. We know that because he tells us that during his opening narration, as well.

For his non-rule playing personality, Preston is relegated to a desolate military base in the California desert. As soon as he arrives, a massive 9.5 earthquake literally drops California into the sea, and isolates Preston and a ragtag group of survivors on what now has become an island. With only fellow soldiers Lucky Simcoe (Joe Michael Burke) and Sarah McBride (Sherri Alexander) of the Air Force as military leadership, the three attempt to lead the surviving stock characters to safety.

Preston, with his big, square head, looks menacing enough, but here he is nothing more than a stern disciplinarian to his charges. Sure, he wrestles with McBride during an argument, but he is also quick to dispense motivational speeches to rally the troops when needed. To say that Lundgren's typical action movie character has been softened in The Last Warrior would not be an exageration. I don't believe he actually fires a gun once during the entire film, though he does brandish one a few times. A couple of fistfights and a bomb-laden vehicle are pretty much the extent of his arsenal.

Shot in Israel, which is supposed to apparently double as the dry California desert, The Last Warrior ends up being more of a talkie than an action piece. There are countless scenes of characters discussing what will happen if this or that occurs, but very little activity. A few big explosions, including the standard issue "big explosion while the three lead characters run in slow motion" scene. A subplot involving one of the corporate-run prisons, which is lead by evil prisoner Jesus (Julliano Merr) is fairly mundane, and his villain role never manages to generate any true fear despite his propensity to make his faithful followers drink urine. Talk about a motivational leader.

Dolph Lundgren, even as more of a talker than fighter, actually comes across fairly well. When surrounded by a host of Central Casting stereotypes, Lundgren seems to be the most human of the bunch. He actually shows a gentle side, and makes a point of rescuing some kids from danger, despite the non-fatal bad movie cliché of being shot in the arm. I hate to admit that Lundgren is likeable in this role, but he is. It's just that he's not the gun-toting destruction machine I had hoped for.

Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: C-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Rationo

Image Transfer Review: A 1.33:1 transfer is the only option on The Last Warrior. Surprisingly, this is a pretty decent looking disc. Except for some grainy stock footage early on, overall the image retains a crisp color palette that holds flesh tones at a steady level. Black levels are more than adequate, with strong shadow depth during the sporadic night scenes. Minor compression issues do little to degradate the overall experience.

Despite the lack of a 1.85:1 transfer, The Last Warrior looks good.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: It's English 2.0 or nothing, and though the options are limited, the end result is better than expected. Using the rear channels primarily for music cues, the David Michael Frank score resonates effectively and sounds refreshingly robust through spatial imaging. Dialogue is limited to the front channels, and remains clear throughout.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 34 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: A widescreen trailer, which makes The Last Warrior look much more exciting than it really is, provides the only mentionable extra. Some quickie bios on Lundgren, Sherrie Alexander, and Joe Michael Burke would be a stretch for anyone but the most diehard fan to wade through and enjoy. The complete absence of subtitles in any language is another weak attribute.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

Generally B-A-D. Suspense is nonexistent. The action sequences are forgettable. No nudity. What am I supposed to like here? Other than the Billy Jack-inspired posturings of Dolph Lundgren, there just isn't much here.


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