Last Man Standing This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Japanese director Akira Kurasawa's influence on Hollywood can best be viewed through the number of successful remakes of his films. "The Magnificent Seven," "A Fistful of Dollars," and "Star Wars" are remakes of his films "The Seven Samurai," "Yojimbo," and "Hidden Fortress" respectively. All three have been wildly successful, while most American and European audiences have not known about the true authorship of these films.

Walter Hill's "Last Man Standing" makes it clear that this film is a remake of Kurasawa's "Yojimbo," attributing the basis of the story to Kurasawa and the original screenwriter. But, while the basic plot stays the same, just about everything else is different. Instead of the original premise of two rival Japanese towns having a small war with a ronin (rogue) samurai playing off both sides, "Last Man Standing" takes place during Prohibition in a small Texas border town, with Bruce Willis as a man with two automatics who plays off both sides of two rival bootlegging gangs.

Walter Hill has quite an accomplishment here. This film is stylish with dazzling stunts and gunfights. The one problem is a lack of story, humanity, and humor. Willis and the others grimace and frown their way through the film, and it appears that many shots of the town have been drained of color, making the film practically black and white. This is a stark, stylish action film, with a deceptively small amount of substance. Rating: HHH 1/2 out of a possible HHHHH.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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