Rambo: Last Blood review

Out of touch: I really wanted to love Last Blood, and the biased part of me does, but I have a hard time recommending it. Pictured is Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo.

Nicholas Solomon

I wanted to like “Rambo: Last Blood.” When I watched the trailer, I got very excited about it many months before it was released. This is another episode of the movie series from my childhood, and the title character is, of course, one of my favorite characters. This is the fifth film in the franchise. First Blood, Part 2 and 3, Rambo 4, and now this one. The fourth film is the last true Rambo film in the franchise, and a fitting end to the character.

Last Blood takes place 10 years after the previous film. Rambo is played by the legend himself, Sylvester Stallone. He is back home in Bowie, Arizona, managing his father’s horse ranch with his close friend Maria (Adriana Barraza). He is watching over Maria’s granddaughter Gabrielle (Yvette Monreal). After establishing that he is living a quiet life, the plot picks up and Gabrielle goes in search of her biological father across the border and gets kidnapped by somewhat offensive stereotypes of Mexican drug lords.

Does this sound familiar to you? Because it definitely is. There is nothing original here. The action is the only thing that redeems this film, aside from the obvious fact that Stallone is in it. The action is offensive, gory and sadistic. Maybe Stallone had too much of a phoned in performance to care how bad this film is. The fourth Rambo film is known for being very brutal and bloody, and this one ups the ante. As a huge action fan, I don’t know what to think. Some of the violence that takes place is NC-17 stuff with a horrifying old guy in his 70s running around killing cartel members in sadistic ways. However, that is only about a fourth of the movie. The rest is just bland filler.

There was an abundance of laughter in the theater, even during action scenes. I attribute that to the bad dialogue written for all the characters in this script.

The only reason I continued to watch this movie was to see Stallone’s performance. The Creed sequels, and especially films from the 1990s, such as Cop Land, demonstrate how good of an actor Stallone is. I expected Last Blood to be at least a good somber send off of the character. But that isn’t what I got. Last Blood is good for all the wrong reasons. The iconic character is betrayed in a story line similar to a soulless 2000s gore flick. I wanted a Rambo film.

Some fans might want a gore fest instead of a Rambo film. The betrayal of the central character ruins one of the biggest figureheads of my childhood, and that is perhaps the biggest knock I have. This film is painful to watch.

Edited by Jessica Galvin, Jason Morrison, Adam White