Rambo: Last Blood
review by Bobby Blakey
Sylvester Stallone is one of those few action icons that has managed to kick start more than one successful franchise. In 1982 Stallone took on an all-new role with First Blood that should have been a one off film with the title character dying at the end, but thanks to a change in script kicked off the Rambo franchise spawning two sequels in the 80s and then another chapter years later in 2008. Now after almost four decades since he drew first blood, Sylvester Stallone is back as one of the greatest action heroes of all time with Rambo: Last Blood, but could it live up to the legacy or will it be one war too many?
Rambo: Last Blood follows John Rambo who must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission of vengeance that marks the last chapter of the legendary series. I love this franchise and despite some things that fall short here and there still a fan of every entry. Like most I felt the last entry was a great ending to the series, but know he had been talking about this story prior to making part 4 so always hoped he would bring it to life and now he has. Going in this is a different kind of Rambo film.
This time around he has seemingly found peace after all the years of torment, but even then he still struggles with some PTSD that has always kind of been throughout the series and now the wear and tear on his body as well. I love that they loosely touch base with this through medication he takes, flashbacks and the way he has created his own place that he can control at all times. There has been a lot of talk of the film being a cross between Taken and Home Alone and that is a pretty good comparison only on a much more aggressive way.
Rambo has more dialogue in this film than he probably has had in any of the other films. This is showing a side that has found what little peace and normal life that he can. Most of this comes across with the interaction between him and the young girl he has become a father figure too played by Yvette Monreal. While I felt they didn’t get enough time together to fully
develop their history it is still enough to make you understand it. With the short run time, they wasted no time to get things going and while the action that is here is aggressive and graphic there is not as much as you might think.
The few early moments in the film work with the first time we get to see the angry Rambo unleashed it let you know that this is not going to be a pretty movie. All of this is really leading up the final act that is one long brutal display of rage and vengeance that is fast paced and a hell of a lot of fun to watch. I loved this movie and the evolution of the character. This isn’t the usual Rambo flick and could have easily been cast with someone else to be straight action film, but Rambo still fit right in. Much like the last film the villains here are more faceless despite setting them up to be more and when getting down are disbatched pretty fast, but they brought so many you can't help but relish in the carnage.
This film won’t be for everyone, but for me I got everything I hoped for and more. Much like Rocky, Stallone has brought his other iconic character full circle in a satisfying end. Stay through the credits as it showcases a video montage from the entire franchise leading up to a final moment that allows the character to have possibly found the peace in the only way he knows how.