At first, I thought “Rambo: Last Blood” is the “Rocky V” of the Rambo universe. But that would be a slap in the face to “Rocky V.”
This movie is the “Star Wars Holiday Special” of the Rambo universe, meaning it technically has characters from the other movies, but that is about it. Plus it is awful.
I don’t doubt Sylvester Stallone after the turn he has had as Rocky Balboa in the “Creed” movies. He still has it. However, this movie is definitely not it. In terms of aging movie stars, this film is Stallone’s version of Clint Eastwood’s “15:17 to Paris,” which I gave a 62 but it really should have been lower.
That movie had the benefit of the doubt of the actual heroes of that event acting in it (and doing much better than the paid actors involved). Everyone in “Rambo: Last Blood” is paid – or at least I hope so since the film might get you blacklisted from other projects – and it is terrible.
You can blame the script for a lot of the problems and some weird editing and camera work that wouldn’t even be accepted on a TV soap opera, but the acting is horrible. When Stallone is having to carry your movie single-handedly with nothing but his words, then you are in trouble.
I wanted to try to give this movie some credit, but I rewatched the original after I saw “Last Blood.” I feel sorry for everyone involved in the 1982 original for having their work of art having to deal with this crap drudging up its legacy. It is not enough “Last Blood” has to ride the coattails of “First Blood,” but in the end credits, they include shots from the ‘82 film like it is supposed to conjure up some emotion?
So, first off. you might be wondering, “Well, wasn’t ‘Rambo 3’ bad, too?” Yes, it was, but it was still faithful to the character of John Rambo, a man who can’t live in society because his life is in the military. He is a man who struggles with morality in nearly every film.
Not this one. If you hadn’t seen any of the previous movies, you wouldn’t even know Rambo was in the military in this one aside from maybe 3 seconds of PTSD screams over him thinking. You don’t even know what the hell is going on most of the time in this movie.
Rambo has some horse ranch in Arizona and he lives with a maid who might be his wife or sister, it is never made clear. His niece is about as one-note millennial as you can get. She wants to find out what happened to her dad, so she drives to Mexico and meets her dad. In a Razzie-worthy performance, her father said he never loved her and she immediately leaves to go to a club and then is kidnapped to be a sex slave.
If you think that paragraph was without context, then you should see the movie. Also, one more comparison to the original. “First Blood” does a great job of setting up the scenario and Rambo getting to the woods and doing his magic early on. Seriously, the set-up is maybe 20 minutes before he is in the woods. This movie takes nearly 45 minutes until Rambo even goes down to Mexico to find his niece.
There, the film devolves into some sort of “Taken” offshoot – the villain even says to the niece that if she runs “I will find you and I will kill you.” No joke! Rambo gets beaten up since he is an old man while the girl is worse off.
Then, this girl who you knew nothing about, becomes the breaking point for Rambo. Yes, a man who has been through hell and tortured so much, loses it because of this girl, who again, we know nothing about!
So, the climax is Rambo has these tunnels at his ranch and he creates a Home Alone scenario – he even has a map he draws his plan on – and he kills the faceless bad guys who again, we know nothing about.
After some odd sped-up editing, Rambo kills them all and the movie ends. Save yourself from sitting through that 89-minute crap and just take my word for it, that is literally the plot.
In my mind, this movie has to be the one that Malcolm McDowell is forced to watch with his eyes held open in “Clockwork Orange.” It is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. It has nothing to do with the Rambo films aside from a man names John Rambo is in it.
I really don’t know if I can consider it a film.
I really want to say some expletives to the people involved in this project, but I won’t because this is a newspaper and my editor has known me to push the line in the past. Instead, I will just warn you that if you watch this movie, don’t blame me for wasting an hour and a half of your life.
Rating: R for strong graphic violence, grisly images, drug use and language.
My score: 0/100
Jordan Bishop is the assistant news editor at the Stillwater News Press and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.