Movie Review: ‘Rambo – Last Blood’

Director: Adrian Grunberg

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Adriana Barraza, Yvette Monreal, Óscar Jaeneda

Plot: John Rambo has never been able shake the PTSD he accrued during combat, but he has found a kind of peace working as a rancher with his few family members. When his niece is kidnapped by a Mexican cartel, Rambo springs back into action.

Review: We’ve had an odd couple of days, marathoning the Rambo series. We’ve seen John Rambo (also Stallone) start as a tragic victim of international conflict and changing perception of US foreign policy to being the very representation of 1980s American gung-ho attitude to a surprisingly gory return to the field in his later years. Now we have Rambo: Last Blood, suggesting a final adventure, and we don’t know what to expect.

It starts out with a focus on the PTSD theme that was so present in the original movie. This comes complete with flashbacks and John Rambo trying to live a peaceful life on a family ranch. Also on this ranch is Maria (Barraza), who is vaguely related to Rambo, and his niece Gabriella (Monreal). Gabriella has just finished school and wants to travel down to Mexico to find her birth father. Over the course of this trip, Gabriella is drugged and abducted by a Cartel who run a profitable line in human trafficking.

John Rambo is, obviously, not putting up with this and sets out for revenge. After a rocky start he carves his way into the organisation and rescues Gabriella. Rambo then prepares his ranch and, more importantly, the network of tunnels he’s dug out of the property. At this point the violence ratchets up to 11 and people start getting torn to shreds. That PTSD aspect of the character sure gets dropped real quick.

Last Blood is certainly not a bad film, but it is barmy. Spoilers for the final confrontation, but this is a movie where the protaganist carves the main bad guy’s heart out of his chest. The set-up for the story is all over the place, as they’re determined to provide justification for the audience to enjoy watching a particular people being slaughtered wholesale by the ‘hero’. More than a couple of times characters act completely illogical simply for plot reasons.

This is a tired, by-the-numbers actioner claiming to be the closing chapter for an iconic character. Rambo deserved better than this.

Rating: FIVE out of TEN