‘The Last Stand’ Ending, Explained: Was Sheriff Owens Able To Capture Gabriel Cortez?

“The Last Stand” is a 2013 release authored by Andrew Knauer and helmed by Jee-Woon Kim, who is well-recognized in the industry for his masterpieces like “Dr. Brain,” “Illang: The Wolf Brigade,” “The Age of Shadows,” “I Saw the Devil,” “The Good the Bad the Weird,” “A Bittersweet Life,” “A Tale of Two Sisters,” and more. His film, “The Last Stand,” follows Sheriff Ray Owens played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who, along with his deputies, enlists the help of a couple of misfits to apprehend an escaped drug kingpin who plans to cross the border for freedom. 


Spoilers Ahead

‘The Last Stand’ Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Fim?

The movie opens on the outskirts of Las Vegas, and we see a gray Corvette hurling toward the border at 200 miles per hour. The cop at the scene contacted the dispatch, asking them to get in touch with the FAA to apprehend the person “driving way over the speed limit” with no lights on.


The scene shifts, and the movie introduce the audience to Sheriff Ray Owens, played by our very own “Terminator” alum, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been serving Somerton County for years. Owens isn’t a big crowd guy; rather, he likes to stay behind and keep the peace, as suggested by his decision not to attend the town’s football match. At a diner, Owens overhears Burrell and Ponytail indulging in a conversation about a “mysterious guy,” and Owens decides to keep tabs on their movements. Burrell and Ponytail are truckers who earn their living by transporting auto parts and sometimes “illegal merchandise” to bring in an extra buck. After leaving the diner, Owens drives to an abandoned cottage to look for his deputies, Bailey and Terry, who are busy firing their guns at a slab of beef since there’s nothing much to do in town to kill their boredom. Owens orders them to pull out whatever they’ve got on Burrell and Ponytail to confirm his suspicions. There Owens meets Lewis Dinkum, a ragtag character played by Johnny Knoxville, who has been running “The Dinkum Firearm & Historic Weapons Museum” and dreams of becoming a deputy like Bailey and Terry. Owens’ instincts were leading him in the right direction as Burrell owned scores of armed mercenaries, ready to fill anyone with a lead on his one order; however, he has a very clear record, according to Bailey. Burrell even killed Mr. Parson, a local farmer, when he was denied entry into his property. 

An FBI Convoy Gone Wrong

Jerry Bailey is a young cop who yearns for some action and adventure and has even asked Owens to help him get a job in LA. In reality, before taking over the Sheriff’s role in Summerton County, Owens served in a narcotics division in the city of Los Angeles, and he too wanted to be part of the action, with bullets flying all around. Bailey really wanted to leave this place, so Owens agreed to transfer him to another division. 


The action jumps to an FBI black site, where Agent John Bannister is hard at work along with his partner and several other FBI officials, planning to transport Gabriel Cortez, the most vicious cartel boss after Pablo Escobar. Cortez is on death row and is being transported to a federal prison. However, the transfer is interrupted by Cortez’s men, resulting in his escape, Mckay’s death, and Richards’ capture. Cortez and his crew dumped their white sedan and got into two separate cars to distract the cops. The kingpin has escaped and is headed toward Somerton in the gray Corvette that we saw earlier at the outset of the movie. Meanwhile, saddened and angered by McKay’s death, Bannister is doing everything he can to find Cortez, from playing good cop/bad cop to shutting down every private or commercial landing strip in a 100-mile radius. The cops are desperately trying to match Cortez’s pace; however, the latter’s Corvette, blessed with 1000 horsepower, puts everyone to shame and blows through every checkpoint. 

Cortez is a third-generation cartel boss who thinks he’s untouchable and wants to be behind the wheel and run the show. Cortez has been racing cars since he was a teenager and even owns a private track in Sinaloa. There’s more: Cortez has been racing on the pro circuit in South America under a pseudonym and is a monster behind wheels. Cortez calls Bannister through Richards’ phone and threatens to kill his federal hostage if the cops keep tracking him. In reality, Richards is an accomplice and has planned everything with Cortez in return for $3 million.


Cortez Plans To Leave Through Somerton Junction

Back in Somerton County, after receiving a call from Christie, Owens sends Torrence and Bailey to check on Mr. Parson and learns of his murder. Owens arrives at the scene and, thanks to his ride-along with the FBI, quickly deduces that Parson was killed by a sniper. Parson was murdered outside and was later dragged inside. Owens received a call from Agent Bannister and was updated on the recent developments and told to assist the SWAT team arriving from El Centro. Owens is way too skilled and conscious of labeling the events as coincidence and realizes that the duo he encountered in the diner, Parson’s death, and the transfer that went wrong are all connected. However, Owens’ chain of thought is interrupted, and he rides towards the canyon edge to help Torrence and Bailey, who’re outgunned and outnumbered. Owens saves the day, but Bailey succumbs to his injuries. But Bannister isn’t paying any attention to Summerton Junction since there’s no crossing. However, Cortez and his crew plan to build one because the canyon south of town is very narrow, and he is completely unaware that there’s a whole crew there armed with machine guns and snipers, trying to build a mobile assault bridge to cross the canyon into Mexico. 

‘The Last Stand’ Ending Explained – Was Sheriff Owens Able To Capture Gabriel Cortez?

Owens, heartbroken by the death of his deputy, enlists the help of Frank Martinez, an ex-marine, and Lewis Dinkum to take down Cortez and bring him to justice for killing Bailey. In the hour of death and destruction, Lewis serves as comic relief and even asks to be deputized for sharing his resources, and Owens complies. Lewis’ armory and gun museum comprise a 1939 Vickers gun and his personal silver magnum. The group equips themselves to thwart Cortez’s plan to escape. Owens orders Torrence, along with Frank and Lewis, to block off Alzamora, the only way to the canyon. Torrence and Frank are pragmatic, but on the other hand, Lewis takes a quick approach, like cutting down electric poles with a chainsaw to block Alzamora. Burrell and his assailants reach Alazamora and are met with heavy resistance by Owen and his crew, and they meet their end one by one. Cortez arrives in his scratched-up Corvette, and Owen gives him a chase to the cornfield, demolishing his ride and forcing him to walk to the mobile bridge. 


Owens meets Cortez at the bridge and is offered millions to sit this one out and let him pass, but he refuses it. The duo exchange blows, and as expected, Owens emerges victorious, apprehends Cortez, and hands him over to the FBI. Bannister, who had already pulled out Richard’s finances, knew about the $3 million and arrested Richards for betraying the bureau. “The Last Stand” ends with Bannister owning up to Owens for underestimating him, Torrence, and Martinez, making things right, and getting back together. In reality, Martinez was Torrence’s ex-boyfriend, and the former has been arrested multiple times for being “drunk and disorderly.” Martinez had everything; he was smart, popular, and a brilliant athlete, and he even served his country in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, his life took a downward spiral after he was let go of the military and parted ways with Torrence. But now things are looking up. 

“The Last Stand” is a 2013 action thriller film directed by Jee-woon Kim.

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Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh considers himself a superhero who is always at work trying to save the world from boredom. In his leisure time, he loves to watch more movies and play video games and tries to write about them to entertain his readers further. Rishabh likes to call himself a dedicated fan of Haruki Murakami, whose books are an escape from his real being.

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