Movie Review: Rambo: Last Blood

Click play above to listen to the review

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two half stars

R |

Director: Adrian Grunberg

by Jason Koenigsberg

It has been almost three years since Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, this is the first blatant movie made in response to the Trump presidency and takes a strong pro-Trump anti-immigrant stance. Stallone’s newest adventure as his second most famous signature character John Rambo is Rambo: Last Blood, and let us hope that this is indeed the final time he plays him both for his sake and ours. Trump wants to build a wall between the US and Mexico border, if Rambo: Last Blood were true, he would not need to build a wall, he just needs Rambo at the border to kill all of the Mexicans trying to cross over. This movie is a xenophobic pat on the back for all Trump supporters. Seriously, according to Rambo: Last Blood Mexicans are all rapists, drug dealers, pimps, deadbeat dads, and murderers. We really do need a giant wall to keep these degenerate criminals out since Rambo: Last Blood shows how easy it is to cross the border illegally with a pick-up truck. But the movie thinks that it earns its racism because the two women Rambo cares about speak Spanish. 

The opening shot shows a windmill and a farm from up in the sky. This is where John Rambo has been living since the events of Rambo (2008), his fourth movie adventure which took place in Thailand and Burma. At the end of that movie we saw him come home and Rambo: Last Blood is the first time we see John Rambo with some semblance of a family and not a complete loner. He is living with an older woman (Adriana Barraza) and his niece (Yvette Monreal) . It is never explained how she is his niece or what the three of them are doing living on this massive ranch in Arizona, just that they both care for this teenage girl and have for the past ten years. Since Rambo came home, her mother passed, and her father abandoned her. She is determined to find her father in Mexico and that sets off the events of the movie where John Rambo needs to go back in action and rescue her. The plot is like if Taken (2009) went South of the Border. It just is not nearly as first-rate due to the inept script. 

Stallone carries the film with dignity and maintains his characters icy virtuous demeanor, never smiling, always determined to finish the job he started no matter what insurmountable obstacles stand in his way. Also, the music is solid, reminiscent of the earlier Rambo scores still echoing the song ‘Long Road’ from the original movie First Blood (1982). Rambo: Last Blood is just incredibly racist and right wing. It makes Mexico look like a hellhole, the residents are all low class criminals except for one female journalist (Paz Vega) who is a plot contrivance to help him. But if you can get past that, the action is pretty good. As long you you do not have an aversion to bloody, graphic violence. Rambo: Last Blood delivers in the action department albeit with gallons of blood. This movie may be gorier than some of the Saw movies. The finale was where most of the carnage takes place and also where the script just throws in the towel. It tries to emulate the climax of the James Bond movie Skyfall (2012) which itself was just copying Home Alone (1990) as Rambo tries to literally protect his homeland from illegal immigrant invaders. The end sequence has some superb bloody action and it plays music by The Doors just to remind you that John Rambo was a Vietnam Veteran. But that is not enough to recommend Rambo: Last Blood which is basically an unnecessary sequel to a great B-movie franchise combined with big budget right wing propaganda. 

Skip it and check out either First Blood or Rambo. The first and fourth entries are the two best in the franchise and watch this Rambo: The Force of Freedom cartoon intro. Ah, the 80’s. Only in the Reagan era was it acceptable to make a show for kids based on an R-rated movie because of its jingoistic message.

 

4 Comments »

  1. Listed to the audio review. I do remember that there is sort of an explanation for Rambo being the uncle. It is an honorary relation, based on the dialogue from the grandmother. That Rambo was there more than the real father. Yes, there is some inference required, it’s not completely spelled out, but I gathered from it that this was not any sort of blood relationship, just Rambo being the good guy who had been there for the daughter when the father had disowned her.

  2. Right wing propaganda? Your journalism is a joke. The movie never went political, but for some low life idiots like you , even when a while man is a protagonist , its right wing. Learn to code morons.

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