“Rambo: Last Blood” is the 2019 installment of the iconic “Rambo” franchise. It sees its titular character, John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone), come out of retirement for another vengeance-fueled rampage after the kidnapping of his niece.
To be quite honest, I’m not entirely sure what I expected. Yet somehow, I still feel disappointed. This movie is unnecessary, to say the least. There is no sort of character development for Rambo. There isn’t anything new or different about the script. There are no exceptional performances, let alone good ones. This adds nothing to the action genre. There is no sort of message or takeaway from this movie. It’s all just a waste of time.
“Last Blood,” though it tries to be much more, ends up just being a lazy and unnecessary cash-grab of a movie.
Three-time Oscar nominee Sylvester Stallone gave one of the laziest performances I have seen in a while. There’s no discernable emotion coming from any of his lines. Most of the time it doesn’t even feel like he’s really talking to any of the characters. It’s like he’s just mumbling words out into the air, and other people just so happen to hear what he’s actually saying.
Salting the wound even further in this dumpster fire is the script. It’s incredibly bland! The characters are so one-note that I can not name one other character other than the title character. To add, the story seems to follow a cookie-cutter plotline, producing a predictable mess! I feel like I could see each and every plot beat from miles away. There was a point during the movie when I left to refill my drink. During the minute or so it took, I asked myself, “what would be the most generic thing to happen at this point in the movie?” It took me all of about five seconds to accurately predict what I had missed, and what was to come. The whole thing just left me feeling bored, thinking of other better movies.
One movie that I thought about was 2017’s “Logan,” a movie that clearly was something of an inspiration to “Last Blood.” Both are about older, grizzled men, who are forced to return to their violent ways in order to protect a younger girl from a group of bad guys with undertones of the western’s of old. This is apparent in the themes, setting, and overall structure of “Logan.” In “Last Blood,” this seems to be shown by the fact that Rambo has a ranch now, which is a fact that is unloaded onto the audience with little to no explanation. The main difference between these movies, to put it simply, is the amount of care put into both of them. “Logan” was a deep, careful, and intimate portrait of a man whose life is filled with violence and regret, who eventually finds the compassion that he never knew would exist within himself. In “Last Blood,” Rambo has no sense of regret or compassion at all. He just mows down all the bad guys in the usual Rambo fashion.
Now, a deep and intimate portrait of John Rambo, admittedly, does sound ridiculous. However, THAT WAS EXACTLY THE PLOT OF THE FIRST MOVIE! 1982’s “First Blood” showed the effects of war on a man. It shows what happens when a man, solely trained to be a killing machine, is released into a world where he’s seemingly useless and unwelcome. It doesn’t end in a giant shootout. In fact, it only contains one death throughout the whole thing (which was accidental). Instead, the movie ends with Rambo breaking down in tears. Not out of weakness, but out of a struggle with his mind. A struggle that is all too real for many.
Then, 1985’s “First Blood: Part 2” said “scratch that, let’s just turn Rambo into a hyper-masculine action hero,” leading to a slew of lazily written sequels, ultimately landing here at this pointless mess. “Last Blood” has forgotten all about its thought-provoking roots in order to be a more generic and audience-friendly blockbuster movie. The film could have shed a light on the millions of people in America who struggle with PTSD, but for some reason, the movie opted to become this empty action-flick instead.
All in all, “Rambo: Last Blood” is yet another soulless cash-grab, and a complete and utter waste of time. There is no real reason to really watch this, as it’s just another lazily put together sequel to a franchise that should not have happened. Thankfully, this seems to really be the last blood, as this is supposed to be the movie to “close the circle”… maybe.