Almost four decades after he drew first blood, Sylvester Stallone is back as one of the greatest action heroes of all time, John Rambo. Now, Rambo must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission. A deadly journey of vengeance, RAMBO: LAST BLOOD marks the last chapter of the legendary series.
Rambo Last Blood Video Review (Spoiler Free)
Rambo Last Blood Trailer:
Let’s get one thing clear from the jump. Rambo is nuts! This character is literally off his meds and he’s a complete monster against the villains in this story. That is probably one of the most engaging aspects of the film when it comes to his character. You want to see him lose it and just go all out when he’s out for revenge. Last Blood certainly delivers in that regard especially when you get to see all the “Home Alone” traps that were advertised in the trailer. Last Blood certainly doesn’t hold back with its graphic violence either, and many of those gory scenes will evoke some “oooh’s” and “ahhh’s” from the audience.
From a thematic perspective, Last Blood does a decent job of depicting the PTSD the war veteran experienced. For long-time Rambo fans, this helps to ground the character and humanize him in various ways. We get a chance to see Rambo have flashbacks, or revert to behaviors that aren’t typically normal, but are a byproduct of his troubled past. All of that allows audiences to connect with his character a bit more as the film progresses.
Sadly, while the best part of the movie is the third act of the film, the first two acts were a bit of a chore to get through. The film starts off well enough by trying to establish the relationships and bonds that the characters share. It was all good until the script started to pile on more and more over the top dramatic situations. For example, it would be like if a movie character got divorced, after the death of their beloved pet, then realize that they’re now homeless, only to later find out that they now have cancer. One dramatic situation after the other just made Last Blood feel like a soap opera appearing on Telemundo.
To make matters even worse, the acting in this film was rather poor. Keep in mind, that I’m saying this with the mindset that action movies do not require Academy Award level performances at all. However, when you get to the point that you can detect bad acting in an action movie, that’s not a good sign at all. Many of the performances in this film felt either forced or more scripted than natural in their delivery. Sylvester Stallone, being one of the most experienced, actors also fell victim to some cringe-worthy scenes in his performance. There were moments in the film where Rambo started to sound more like Rocky Balboa’s character. The whole time you probably know what he’s trying to convey, but what he puts out on the screen just doesn’t quite fit. In my opinion, some of that probably stems from below average directing.
The direction in this film took a hit in a few areas. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the cinematography in this film. You have one scene for example where Stallone is having a serious conversation with a female character in a darkly lit room. The camera is pressed to their faces and in other circumstances you’d think that they were about to make out or something. Instead, we just get some awkward framing that’s supposed to play off as a dire moment. Besides that nitpick, some of the editing was a bit off too. Once we get to the third act of the film, it feels like the movie just makes a huge jump in logic just to satisfy the big action scene at the end. There probably could’ve been a better set of events to setup the big climatic ending, but instead we go from 0, to 10, to 100 when it comes to the final confrontation.
Rambo: Last Blood is a sad departure from the character of Rambo although it tries very hard to recapture the allure of the past. As a very long time Rambo fan, I was disappointed. It probably doesn’t help that Last Blood seems like a rehash of The Equalizer and Taken except in a different setting. If you can tolerate the first hour or so of the film then the rest of it is smooth sailing in terms of the entertainment factor. From the acting to the directing, all signs point to Rambo Last Blood would’ve been a much better fit as a TV movie rather than a theatrical release. There are entertaining moments in the movie for sure, but as a whole it’s just not that good of movie in my opinion. My recommendation is to just wait on it. If you absolutely must go see it, then a matinee at the very best.
Director: Adrian Grunberg
Writers: Matthew Cirulnick & Sylvester Stallone
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Adrianna Barraza, Yvette Monreal, Genie Kim aka Yenah Han, Joaquin Cosio, and Oscar Jaenada