It’s been 37 years since Sylvester Stallone introduced us to David Morrell’s John Rambo, the Vietnam POW hitchhiking through Madison, Kentucky. Since then he’s stabbed, slashed, shot, and blown up everything from overzealous sheriffs to bloodthirsty Burmese military officers. In Rambo: Last Blood, he takes on Mexican human traffickers.
At 73 years old, Sylvester Stallone still looks fantastic for his age, but in the movie, time is starting to catch up with our hero as he manages the day-to-day on his farm, and taking care of his adoptive family. He’s happy and content, but it’s clear he’s still suffering from his PTSD.
All good things must come to an end though as his adoptive college-bound granddaughter Gabrielle (Yvette Monreal) decides that she wants to go look for her biological father who abandoned her as a child. Against John’s stern warnings, she heads down to Mexico, only to be captured by brothers Victor (Óscar Jaenada) and Hugo Martinez (Sergio Peris-Mencheta) and thrown into a sex ring.
It doesn’t take long for our hero to find her, but due to his inability to plan ahead that doesn’t involve booby traps, John is attacked by gang members and left for dead. He is nursed back to health by an “independent journalist” who has a personal stake when it comes to the gang as they had raped and murdered his sister.
In typical Rambo fashion, things go down, and John lures the gang back to his farm where he has so many lethal booby traps set up, Home Alone‘s Kevin McAllister could learn a thing or two.
The final sequence is what makes the franchise what it is. Due to the lack of action in the short 99-minute film that feels a little bit more like a drama than an action flick, the blood and gore is cranked to eleven for the final 20-ish minutes. Despite the fact that John is up there in age, it doesn’t mean that he can’t do what he said he would do. I’d explain more on that, but it would ruin the film.
Rambo: Last Blood isn’t a great film, nor is it terrible. It could’ve been better, there are a couple of plot issues in the script, but we’re not going to see an Academy Award contender. We’re going to see this film to watch a man straight-up murder bad guys without consequence, emulating ourselves in John’s position to quench our desire for death.
The biggest issue that I’m having with this movie isn’t with the movie, but with other reviewers of the film. It makes me sad to see that other reviewers are putting in their socio-political and political ideologies in their review, calling it a “Trumpian Fantasy,” or calling the film xenophobic, or renaming the title Rambo: Bad Hombres, or using the term “toxic masculinity.” In one three-paragraph review, a reviewer decides that he wants to give everyone a brief history lesson about Mexico territory before talking about the film in a half-assed manner.
In the end, ladies and gentlemen, if you’re a fan of the series like I am, you’re going to want to go and see it because it’s probably going to be the final film. Yes, Sylvester Stallone did say that he would be interested in making another sequel, but he wants to see how this film does first.