It is hard to believe that there are now five Rambo movies and four sequels to First Blood, a movie that I would call an “anti-action movie”: main character John Rambo didn’t kill anybody directly and didn’t want to kill anybody. The best scene is John’s final breakdown in tears and I wont even try to describe this scene, because I wouldn’t do it right. Watch the movie on your own, it is excellent. Now, let’s get to the sequels to First Blood, I loved them when I was a dumb teenager, but as it stands now I’m not the biggest fan of them, I consider them more like a guilty pleasure. They have the same set up: “Rambo gets back to action and kills a bunch of people, while trying to save somebody.” And that is all you need to know.
Is there anything to spoil about Rambo: Last Blood? You have seen trailers and probably some First Blood sequel before that, so there is nothing to spoil, you have seen this movie. Instead of my rage over complete unoriginality of this movie and trying to be like Logan or the first Taken movie. Why not try to be something different? The first ten minutes, where Rambo is trying to save some family from a storm, would make up for much more interesting movie and story: “John Rambo is trying to save somebody in dangerous environment (mountains) and his trauma hits him harder than he expected as the past and present reconnect.” Or why not turn Rambo into a tragic villain something like: “After getting into trouble with the law, John Rambo relives his traumatic experiences with Police and from Vietnam, when he realizes that he needs help and he might become a danger to society at some point”. Creativity is something new that Rambo desperately needs. The script for Rambo: Last Blood is just dumb.
In defense of this movie
Defending a certain movie is something everybody at some point did and I can see a case being in defense of Rambo: Last Blood, there is without a doubt fan base for Rambo sequels and if you enjoy these movies, good for you, but you should admit that this movie should strife to be similar to the First Blood, because that is what was promised. The villains of this movie, Martinez brothers (Sergio Peris-Mencheta and Óscar Jaenada) are completely indefensible and one-dimensional and in this case, I understand why, because besides Sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy), every other villain were exactly like that and mentality Rambo vs irredeemable villains is and was what made Rambo sequels what they were. You can say that this movie stays true to its predecessors. Maybe as a throwback to the eighties action movie this works best, last reminder you wrong if you like this movie, there is an essence to Rambo: Last Blood that I can understand, because believe it or not I love eighties action movies and a part of this movie spoke to me, but it is just not enough!
I would like to make a comparison between Rambo and Rocky (both played by Sylvester Stallone) and there is a striking difference between the last Rocky movies (Creed I and II) and Rambo. Creed understood that Rocky couldn’t fight anymore and let him train his successor, it knew that audience for Rocky has grown up and unfortunately Rambo didn’t. Audience for Rambo mature up and this movie really needed to be more mature, mimicking experience and atmosphere of the first movie, experience and atmosphere isn’t building traps like in the first movie or killing enemies in gory fashion. It is not that you can kill like 40, in an action scene, this movie needed to be reflective, somber and slow paced, like the first one was.
All in a good script
Biggest issue of this movie is the script, because it’s just not good, there are many ways this movie could go and it chose the easiest one. For example, I don’t understand the relation between Rambo, Gabrielle (Yvette Monreal) and Maria (Adriana Barraza). So Gabrielle is Rambo’s niece, wouldn’t it be more interesting if she was his granddaughter? What if Rambo had a child from Vietnam? Another problem lies in closure, following Rambo (2008), which provided this closure, Rambo returning finally home to his dad, but Rambo: Last Blood undermined this closure and planed the place for a sequel and who knows maybe the writers learn some things and provide a closure Rambo needed.
Giving a rating to this movie is pretty much pointless. If you are you looking a for fitting closure of the Rambo franchise, save your money and wait for the DVD, because you are going to be disappointed, not that I was, it was exactly what I was afraid of and this movie fulfill my doubts. So, this is not a good movie, it’s long, sometimes boring, with underdeveloped characters. Rating: 3/10.
Until than keep watching First Blood!
Pictures: © Metropolitan Filmexport