Directed by: Adrian Grunberg
Written by: Matthew Cirulnick & Sylvester Stallone
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, Adrianna Barraza & Sergio Peris-Mencheta
Rating: R (for strong graphic violence,grisly images, drug use and language)
Runtime: 89 minutes
Genre: Action, Drama
Sylvester Stallone has one of the most storied stares in movie history. Be it the sting of loss brushing up against the eternal optimism of one Rocky Balboa or the unending rage and regret simmering just beneath the brutish exterior of a John J. Rambo, the geriatric action star convincingly communicates complex emotion with his intense gaze. He gets plenty of mileage out of it too in the latest and suggestively last Rambo film, predictably subtitled Last Blood.
It’s been eleven years since the tortured Vietnam vet left a trail of blood and meat behind in Thailand. Now, against all odds, John Rambo is living the quiet life on his ranch in Arizona alongside his adoptive family of two, a middle-aged Maria (Adriana Barraza) and her teenage granddaughter Gabrielle (Yvette Monreal). Although “Uncle John” is popping pills and suffering from PTSD, he’s the closest thing to “happy” we’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, if you’ve ever seen any of the previous four Rambo movies (or are generally familiar with the “aged action hero” trope), then you know that Rambo’s tranquility isn’t long for this world and neither are the fools who disturb that tranquility.
This time out those “fools” are the Martinez Brothers, a pair of cartoonishly vile cartel lords who traffic drugs and women in and around Mexico. It’s fortuitous then that this time they should abduct the wrong girl and spur into action the most dangerous cowboy there ever was.
Last Blood effectively marries the poignant themes of grief and loss first hit upon in 1982’s First Blood with the hyper-violence and outrageous gore of 2008’s Rambo. The final result is a wildly entertaining and unexpectedly emotional. If this is indeed the final ride for one of cinema’s most prolific badasses, then it’s a satisfying one.
⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 (out of five)
Have you had a chance yet to check out Rambo: Last Blood? If so, what did you think? Were you equally impressed? And if not, is it even on your radar? Sound off in the comments below and let me know your thoughts!