Another Rambo movie had been in the works since the 4th installment released all the way back in 2008. This weekend, the aptly titled Rambo: Last Blood was finally released for our viewing pleasure. And boy, does it not disappoint.
This iteration of the infamous antihero’s story sees Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) settled down on a ranch with his niece and her grandmother. While it is somewhat unclear how Rambo became a part of this family, it is clear he has served as a father figure for 17-year-old Gabrielle (Yvette Monreal). When she goes searching for her real father in Mexico, Rambo’s quiet life quickly gets turned on its head after she is kidnapped by human traffickers. This forces him to turn back into the Rambo we’ve grown to know, as he sets off on a tour of revenge against Gabrielle’s kidnappers.
Obviously Last Blood is not The Godfather or Citizen Kane, nor is it trying to be. It is trying to be a brutal revenge flick with John Rambo as the main character, and it does a great job of being exactly that. The story doesn’t necessarily bring anything new into the overdone genre, but you go see a Rambo movie for the action and it has plenty of it. While the first half of the 89 minute runtime is a lot of setup, the final half turns into a hard-R version of Home Alone and I couldn’t get enough of it. It is filled to the brim with gunfights, explosions, and intense kill sequences. Stallone doesn’t seem to miss a step in the amazing action scenes, despite the fact that he is 73 years old. He also gets the chance to show off some fine acting chops in some of the movie’s quieter moments.
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If you have seen 2008’s Rambo, you know how violent this series is willing to go. Last Blood ups the ante on it and doesn’t shy away from the violence and gore. It’s one of the more violent movies I’ve seen recently, and you should be aware of it going in. If you are squeamish at all, this might not be for you.
Because it’s 2019 and everyone has to make everything controversial, I have seen plenty of pushback against this movie. If my opinion means anything, I suggest ignoring all of the overblown comments calling the movie racist and pushing a narrative of “toxic masculinity”. I hope we as a society can become a little less sensitive in the future. The movie does feature a Mexican Cartel as the villain. Cartels and human traffickers exist, plain and simple. Using them as a villain in an action movie doesn’t make the movie racist. The movie is definitely masculine. It’s Rambo. The whole series is testosterone-filled. That doesn’t make it “toxic”. Some things, especially action movies, are allowed to be masculine. If that bothers you, don’t see the movie.
With my rant on our current society over, I can say that I had a blast with this movie. It establishes itself as one of the better films in the series. If you can get past the brutal violence, I highly recommend seeing this one in theaters.
Rambo: Last Blood gets a solid Postive ROP.
Ratings from low to high: Felony, Misdemeanor, 10-4, Positive ROP, Golden Donut