Title – Rambo: Last Blood (2019)
Director – Adrian Grunberg (Get the Gringo)
Cast – Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Adriana Barraza, Yvette Monreal
Plot – Forgoing his now quiet life on his late father’s ranch, combat veteran John Rambo (Stallone) gears back up for one final fight as he looks to enact vengeance upon a group of ruthless criminals.
“I want them to know that death is coming. And there’s nothing they can do to stop it”
Review by Eddie on 18/12/2019
To put it plainly, there’s no reason for Rambo: Last Blood to exist.
Adding nothing to the cannon of the story of war veteran turned one man army John Rambo, Last Blood is the type of heartless and pointless exercise that only the most die-hard and desperate franchise fans will enjoy, as the rest of us witness the now 73 year old Sylvester Stallone disappointingly rehash one of his most beloved creations for a story that barely passes the muster as an excuse for a ranch-owning Rambo to spill some more claret.
It’s not like Stallone hasn’t had success with bringing back past glories, Creed of course is one of his crowning achievements but Last Blood feels like a step too far as Stallone and director for hire Adrian Grunberg take us on a nasty, grim and charisma free affair that see’s 60 – 70 minutes of screen time wasted on a Taken-lite Mexico adventure that very quickly turns into a gore-porn of epic proportions as Rambo takes it to a bunch of paper thin cartel bosses to enact revenge on them for crimes against his acquaintances.
The worst thing about Last Blood is somewhere in this concept is a potentially strong story about PTSD, family and finding one’s place in the world, nothing original but certainly something more meaningful but with its sledgehammer approach to butchering any nuances or finer details of its narrative drive, Last Blood is like a bad 80’s direct to video like action thriller that fails to justify any reason to have been made.
One thing Last Blood does do is remind us just how strong Rambo started out his life in First Blood in 1982.
A film that stands the test of time thanks to it actually creating a worthy story, a likable lead and some memorable set-ups, First Blood was a strong adaptation of David Morrell’s character and the perfect fit for Stallone’s particular style of acting but as was the case with the increasingly dwindling returns of later installments, Last Blood loses sight of what made its central character so appealing in the first place, to become nothing more than a mindless exercise in over the top set-pieces that mean very little once the credits begin to roll and you move quickly onto the next thing available to your viewing needs.
Despite hearts being ripped out of chests, shotgun bullets being turned into flammable cartridges and Stallone mumbling his way around some deep musings on growing old and past trauma’s, Last Blood gives us nothing to remember other than an end credits montage that reminds us all of how far down the drain John Rambo has sunken in the past 30 plus years.
Final Say –
Slowly moving forward towards its insanely violent crescendo that offers zero surprises or benefits, Rambo: Last Blood is not the fitting farewell to a beloved cinematic creation that we would’ve liked, rather a desperately out of place offering that should never have been given the green-light in the first place.
1 underground tunnel out of 5