“Last Man Standing” (1996) written & directed by Walter Hill, starring Bruce Willis / Z-View

Last Man Standing (1996) 

Director: Walter Hill

Screenplay: Walter Hill based on Yojimbo by Akira Kurosawa

Stars: Bruce Willis, Bruce Dern, William Sanderson, Christopher Walken, David Patrick Kelly, Ned Eisenberg, Alexandra Powers, Ken Jenkins, Ted Markland, Leslie Mann, Patrick Kilpatrick, Luis Contreras, Raynor Scheine, Tiny Ron, John Paxton, Michael Cavalieri, Matt O’Toole and Michael Imperioli

Tagline: There are two sides to every war. And John Smith is on both of them.

The Plot…

John Smith (Willis), a prohibition gun thug, is on the lam.  Smith is headed for Mexico when he stops in a small nearly deserted border town.  Two rival gangs, one Italian, the other Irish, have run most of the townsfolk off.  The two crews have an uneasy truce.  But both gangs are looking for a way to wipe out the other.

John Smith sees easy money in his future.  It’s risky, but Smith plans to work both sides with neither realizing it.  The best laid plans…

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Last Man Standing, like A Fistful of Dollars, is based on the Japanese film Yojimbo directed and co-written by Akira Kurosawa.  Many think that Kurosawa based his story on Dashiell Hammett’s RED HARVEST.  Kurosawa says that his film was actually based on Hammett’s THE GLASS KEY.

Last Man Standing has a John Woo feel to it.

Last Man Standing (1996)  rates 3 of 5 stars.