Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Rambo number 5.
one, two, three, four, five at the end of the first one he wasn’t meant to survive!
I refuse to sully one of my favorite guilty pleasure songs by associating it with Rambo: Last Blood. Which is a bad film.
I mean, it was never going to be Oscar bait and I’m not some Guardian reader who thinks that films should all be sweet and lovely and that we should always think of the children. I mean my top three this year s most likely going to include a video nasty about Nazi puppets killing loads of innocent people in some disgustingly gruesome yet awesome ways.
But this film just feels so… regressive. In the last one, Stallone went out of his way to find an unreported conflict and set the film there. But here, he’s taking on Mexican criminals? I could through my script guy and hit a hundred films with Mexican criminals as the villains. I’d rather not- I know where my script guy has been but the point still stands.
The story-lines fairly generic as well. I mean I love Taken as much as the next man but it just doesn’t seem to fit when the protagonist is Rambo. A man who has taken on three army’s (and one sheriffs department) reduced to taking on kidnappers just doesn’t seem to mesh with me.
Like I say, the plots pretty much Taken without ‘the speech.’ Whereupon a wise father tells their young child not to explore the world as everyone out there is evil, child doesn’t listen, gets kidnapped and dad has to kill a load of foreign red-shirts in a bid to save his daughter and prove him right.
Someone other than me has called it ‘serious hairy dad games’ in relation to video games and here there’s nothing more that can be said about the plot.
I mean, there were things about the film that I did like- I liked that Rambo was somewhat vulnerable and I’m always a fan of a montage but there was just something about this film that rubbed me the wrong way.
And I think it was because the violence felt mean spirited. I mean the other three Rambo films where he actually kills people (Seriously, he didn’t kill anyone in the first film.) But we were never expected to glorify in these kills like we were suffering through one of those insufferable Saw films- here though were expected to cheer as Rambo slices up I have no idea amount of red-shirts who, whilst we know why Rambo has decided the world is a better place without them in but were never told how many of them there are, if they are actually supposed to pose a threat to Rambo who goes through them like a student going through free shots. Or even the layout of the location he’s taking them on in.
I mean I didn’t want detailed floor plans but just some sense of context would have been appreciated.
I will say that the kills are inventive, non-repetitive, I’ll confess to enjoying the finale and I will always give props to any film that use practical effects over CGI and I knew going in that a film with an 89 minute run-time was never going to be a deep think piece on the human condition but this is just so generic. You could swap Rambo out with any generic hero and it would have made no difference. Hell, with a quick rewrite this could be Taken 4: It’s time to call Social Services and you just couldn’t say that about any of the other films.
Look, if your after blood and violence and extreme gore than Rambo: Last Blood (after about the half way point) has you covered. But now that we have the stylized John Wick franchise Rambo looks like a relic from cinemas past, the guest who’s outstayed their welcome at the party. There’s nothing here you haven’t seen before and there’s nothing worth remembering. It’s watchable but with an edge that left a bad taste in my mouth. A competent and a fitting end to the characters story but I don’t want to see this again. Rambo is a hero from a different, simpler era of cinema who just doesn’t belong in this incarnation of cinema.
It’s a shame but that’s life.
My Score- Skip It