Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Blames Politics For Last Action Hero's Poor Reception

Arnold Schwarzenegger has had a lot of ups and downs throughout his Hollywood career. Sometimes he's part of a genre-defining movie, like "Terminator 2: Judgement Day," while other times, his performance is best forgotten (case in point: "Batman & Robin"). Everyone has their opinions on Schwarzenegger's worst and best, but the man himself has a clear choice for his most underrated project: "Last Action Hero."

Schwarzenegger shared with The Hollywood Reporter that politics got in the way of the movie's success. "It was slaughtered before anybody saw it. It was literally a political attack because I was campaigning for [former President George H.W. Bush], but Bill Clinton won. 'Last Action Hero' was great — it wasn't fantastic, but it was underrated."

However, Schwarzenegger knows "Last Action Hero" still brings in new audiences to this day. "Now, more and more people are seeing it and saying, 'I love this movie.' I'm getting the residual checks, so I know it's true," the actor said during his interview. While the political climate around the time of its release could've swayed people from seeing "Last Action Hero" in theaters, it didn't stop critics from destroying it in 1993.

Critics didn't hold back on Last Action Hero

"Last Action Hero" centers on a boy who escapes life's hardships by using a magical ticket to enter the world of his favorite action movie. The film is full of things only adults would notice, but that didn't save it from an onslaught of negativity from critics, nor from earning itself two rotten ratings on Rotten Tomatoes.

In 1993, the Austin Chronicle wrote that, although it had so much promise, "Last Action Hero" tries to do too much in its two-hour runtime, resulting in a mess of a movie that could have been an incredible satirical take on the action movie genre. "The film tries so very hard to be 'The Movie of Summer '93' that it almost makes you sick for what could have been, what should have been, and, in the end, what it is: soulless sound and fury — action in a vacuum," Marc Savlov wrote.

Roger Ebert said "Last Action Hero" stumbles when trying to blend reality and cinema, an area where movies like "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" succeeded. The Washington Post called it "a farewell, of sorts, to Arnold," stating that the movie star would never return to his action-movie dominance after its release. While Schwarzenegger would go on to star in "True Lies," one of his best, the statement from The Washington Post wasn't entirely incorrect, as most of his filmography following "Last Action Hero" definitely isn't peak Arnold.