Main cast: Sylvester Stallone (John Rambo), Paz Vega (Carmen Delgado), Sergio Peris-Mencheta (Hugo Martinez), Adriana Barraza (Maria Beltran), Yvette Monreal (Gabriela), Joaquín Cosío (Don Manuel), Óscar Jaenada (Victor Martinez), Fenessa Pineda (Gizelle), Pascacio Lopez (El Flaco), and Rick Zingale (Don Miguel)
Director: Adrian Grunberg
Oh boy, Rambo: Last Blood. Now, let’s make this clear: it’s nothing like the cringe festival as claimed by the left-leaning crazed media of the US. While I normally try not to indulge in conspiracy theories, I can only conclude that the morons calling this movie some kind of Donald Trump propaganda to be part of the machine that is propagating 24-hour outrage, 7 days a week for the sake of gaining eyeballs and hence, advertisement revenue. Never mind that the script was done before the orange emperor ascended to the throne in the White House, never mind that the cartel in the Mexico is a very real thing, these morons claim that the movie is demonizing Mexico as a country run by the cartels, eeee, tear down the wall, eeeeee, open borders good, orange mad bad, eeeeeeeeee, donate to the “journalist’s” Patreon, please, because she just got laid off from Buzzfeed and she needs to send her cat to the vet, eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
Anyway, a petty part of me wishes that I love this movie so that people won’t lump me with those outrage machines, but sadly, this movie isn’t good. The best thing about it is that it is just a little under one and a half hour long, so it is over before the pain becomes really excruciating.
The biggest problem here is that the main character looks like and has the same name as John Rambo, but he isn’t the same guy that was in the previous movies in the franchise. This Rambo speaks far more in half hour than the other Rambo did in the first three movies, and his behavior, mannerisms, and decision-making all seem off. It’s hard for me to quantify this “off”-ness; let’s just say that folks who have watched the previous movies may likely feel the same way I do when I see this incarnation of Rambo. He just feels like a completely different guy altogether. Not a very interesting guy, sadly, just some random action hero guy that looks like Sylvester Stallone because, I don’t know, maybe Liam Neeson is busy with the next Taken movie.
The plot could have been interesting. Rambo is now living in his late father’s ranch, digging tunnels underneath his place because of PTSD or something, and he has taken in Gabriela, the typical rebellious teenage girl who is the granddaughter of the lady that cleans and keeps the ranch together when Rambo is busy digging, pouting, and brooding. Trouble begins when Gabriela decides that she has found her father and, against Rambo’s advice, heads off with her friends to Mexico. Oops, Don Miguel is all eh, he never wanted a daughter so be off with that slag. Our darling decides to get drunk to commiserate, and what a surprise, she gets captured by cartel. Rambo goes charging up to Mexico to basically tear crap up in order to save her.
That’s the story, and oh dear. Now, I enjoy the violence, but the violence is motivated by bewildering stupidity on everyone’s part in this movie. Gabriela is too stupid to live, and while I won’t want to wish her fate on anyone, I can’t help feeling that maybe I am seeing a mercy culling in action. Rambo, for someone of his training and experience, can be ridiculously incompetent when the movie needs him to be captured and bloodied up, while the bad guys are generally from the Stormtrooper University of Villainy – it’s a wonder how the cartel lasts this long with members that are only competent when the script needs Rambo to be tortured in a manly man way; they are ridiculously incompetent at other moments.
Character development is stillborn. They could have, for example, turn Don Miguel into an unexpected ally of Rambo – say, maybe he was initially mean at Gabriela because he doesn’t want the cartel to get at him through her or something – but no, he is just an A+ jerk that vanishes from the movie just like that. Same with Rambo’s friend Maria who is also Gabriela’s grandmother – instead of fleshing out her role as Rambo’s moral compass or confidante, she is abruptly booted from the movie just like that when they have no idea what to do with her. Rambo’s ally, the reporter Carmen, helps him without having any good reason to – she’s an ally because she’s created to be an obvious plot device like that.
Hence, Rambo: Last Blood is a short, underdeveloped violent flick that is fueled by stupidity and plot holes. The ending suggests that there will be more Rambo movies in the future – if that’s the case, I hope it will be better than this, a dud which is more at home in a Steven Seagal catalogue of shame than anywhere else.