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  • Writer's pictureSteven Pluto

Rambo: Last Blood (2019)

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

Last Blood picks up with John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) having spent the last eleven years living on his (now, deceased) father's ranch in Arizona. Although he's still traumatized by his time at war, John has found peace, caring for his horses and serving as a surrogate parent to Gabrielle (Yvette Monreal), a young woman with a dark history of her own. Against John and her grandma Maria's (Adriana Barraza) wishes, Gabrielle decides to travel to Mexico to visit her estranged father, in the hope of finding some closure. But in doing so, she ends up being kidnapped a vicious Mexican cartel .Of course it's Rambo to the rescue as he crosses the border on a bloody and personal quest to rescue her and punish those responsible.

I enjoyed Last Blood , but it wasn’t the swan song that I was expecting.

Let’s not fool ourselves, Rambo is an action franchise and character development will always take a back seat to the action sequences. But Stallone did a great job with his Rocky character in the Creed series, that I was hoping that he would do the same with Rambo and give us an emotional and action packed send off in the vein Hugh Jackman’s Logan or the Coen brothers No Country for Old Men. However, that is simply not the case with Last Blood.

The film starts off with some promise with director Adrian Grunberg showing John Rambo dealing with his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and finding some semblance of peace in his role of caretaker to Gabrielle, but it seems rushed as though it was edited down to size from a longer cut. Once Rambo seeks revenge on the cartel that took Gabrielle from him, Last Blood takes a left turn- for the worst.

In the bloody third act, John Rambo lures the cartel into this maze of booby-trapped tunnels located under his ranch and grotesquely kills them off one by one. This sequence plays out more like a slasher film with Stallone playing the adult version of the Macaulay Culkin character from Home Alone, who has grown into the serial killer Jigsaw from the Saw films.

In my opinion it’s the film third act that makes Last Blood fall a little flat. Rambo is an action icon not a slasher film.

Besides the hiccup of the third act, Rambo: Last Blood, is a solid hardcore action film, but it didn’t give me the character a worthy send-off that I was hoping for.

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