Sad to say, I was disappointed with Rambo: Last Blood.
The previous installment of the Rambo franchise (Rambo IV, 2008) was as perfect as an action movie can be — it was brutal, entertaining, and fun. I still remember how excited I was when I walked out of the movie theater when I saw it back in ‘08… I said to myself: “Rambo is Back!!”
Rambo: Last Blood is nowhere near where I envisioned the Rambo franchise going after the final scene of Rambo IV — where Rambo seems to finally make it back home, as he walks up to a farm with the name Rambo on the mailbox….. Man, I was excited about the possibilities of future films and how they could bring this iconic character into a full circle. David Morrell, the author of the 1972 First Blood novel (from which the Rambo character originates), has been vocal regarding his discontent with this latest installment. Morrell wrote on Twitter: “I agree with these Rambo: Last Blood reviews. The film is a mess. Embarrassed to have my name associated with it.”
That quote says it all, folks.
But here is the thing….. Sylvester Stallone is an excellent writer — Sly is the same person who wrote Rocky (1976), First Blood (1982), Rocky Balboa (2006), and Rambo (2008). All those films had excellent dialogue and solid storylines — which is why it is extremely hard to find any redeemable qualities in Rambo: Last Blood — it is almost unwatchable.
I did enjoy some aspects of this movie, like the tunnel action sequences; they reminded me of the tunnel sequences from Rambo III, which is a movie that most people don’t like, but not me; I enjoyed it. The classic Rambo score shows up, and it was cool to hear it pop-up in crucial moments of the movie.
The backstory of Rambo’s adopted family is never fully explained; We assume he inherits the horse ranch from his family, and he has an adopted niece, Gabrielle (Yvette Montreal); her family backstory and connection to Rambo is barely mentioned.
The Casting of excellent Spanish-speaking actors was a waste of their talents. Paz Vega is one of my favorite Spanish cinema actors (everybody should watch Sex and Lucia, 2003). Her character Carmen had a compelling backstory that never gets any traction.
The human trafficking Martinez brothers, played by Spaniards Sergio Peris-Mencheta (Life Itself, 2018), and Oscar Jaenada (Cantinflas, 2014), are way over the top with their lackluster dialogue and cruelty. A waste of their talent.
The more significant issue here is the negative portrayal of Mexicans, immigrants, and Hispanic people in general. At its core, it sends a message that most Mexicans are criminals, and it is very inflammatory considering the current negative political anti-immigrant sentiment.
Everything this movie shows you in Mexico is terrible. The depiction of Mexico and Mexicans is horrendous.
All in all, this movie doesn’t feel like a Rambo film. It has no heart and has no meaningful message to deliver — and, of all five Rambo films — Rambo: Last Blood is the least impressive one.
Two out of Five Popcorn Bags 🍿🍿
Rambo: Last Blood (2019).