Rambo: Last Blood Movie Review
There are people who still look back to the original Rambo: First Blood and long for the more emotionally complex and morally gray action-drama envisioned by author David Morell, criticizing the franchise for what it has become. Then there is me, who just wants to see the title character kill as many bad guys as possible.
Rambo: Last Blood, presumably the final movie in the five-film franchise, has a geriatric Sylvestor Stallone return to kill Mexican drug dealers after they make the mistake of killing his niece.
It’s a simple plot, with simple returns.
Compared to its 2008 predecessor—just Rambo, a movie that I will stand by until I die as a gloriously bloody, action-packed, and well-made action film—Last Blood looks and feels like a direct-to-DVD sequel. Director Adrian Grunberg hasn’t helmed many movies but has a lot of experience as assistant director; sadly, that experience doesn’t appear in the final product, which could have been made by any one of a thousand generic directors.
Last Blood is only 89 minutes long, but the first half is a clunker, with Stallone leading the underwhelming cast with lazy and uninspiring performances. Everything is just a set up to get Rambo angry enough at Mexican drug lords to come out of retirement, but the writing, acting, and overall delivery make it all fairly cringe inducing.
Once the movie finally kicks into action mode, Last Blood ramps up considerably, but by that point you realize there are only 20 minutes left and the climax is beginning. Rambo switches into mass murder mode and lays waste to dozens of baddies, but even his kills feel rushed, with Grundberg seemingly more interested in showing a literal montage of quick kills than actually attempting to establish some level of suspense or tension. Nonetheless, the deaths are gruesome and do offer a level of satisfaction.
Rambo: Last Blood didn’t need to be the classiest film around, but if this is Rambo’s last movie—and, really, it should be at this point—it’s a shame the franchise didn’t go out with more of a bang.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.