Rambo is back and this time it’s personal. The fighting machine trained by Colonel Sam Trautman during the Vietnam War puts country aside when it’s a matter of family, in Last Blood.
And that’s where Sylvester Stallone’s iconic character loses it – it was always country over personal battles. On one hand, he takes revenge for something that happens to his niece, on the other he disappoints many fans by going full-action, for no reason.
From a man who didn’t kill any in First Blood to the man who doesn’t leave anyone alive in Last Blood, Rambo has come a long way.
Some things would make the audience happy, sad and grateful with what can safely be termed as the final appearance of the man known as Lone Wolf.
1. Happy because he is still the worst nightmare!
He announced himself to the world as ‘the worst nightmare’ and continues to be so, despite growing old.
Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo has been tested by the 80s, 90s and the new millennium but he manages to stand tall on all occasions. His obsession with what’s right makes him different from other American heroes as in the first two Rambo flicks, he fought his own people for being unreasonable, in the third, he saved his mentor from Russians and in the fourth, peace-loving missionaries in Burma.
Here, when his niece is kidnapped across the border, Rambo decides to take matters into his own hands and gets the job done, despite losing people close to him in the process. He still is, every bad guy’s worst nightmare!
2. Happy because it brings back great memories from the 80s
Twice in the 1980s, Rambo’s country needed him and he served them with great zeal and fervour. It was Rambo who taught the audience that even if the chips are down, don’t lose hope. He fought against a corrupt sheriff in First Blood, and since then has been battling inner demons as well as villains of the real world.
In Last Blood, he calls villains to his den by killing one of their own, because that person was responsible for killing a person of his family. He may not be doing it for his country, but for his family in the 80s style!
3. Happy since Last Blood proves Rambo inspired Home Alone
People have been calling Last Blood the new version of Home Alone when in fact it is the other way around. Macaulay Culkin did what Rambo had been doing way before Kevin McCallister was first in trouble.
As soon as he reached the ‘jungle’ which could be the forest in First Blood, Vietnam in Part II, Afghanistan in Part III and Burma in the fourth flick, he came into his own devising ways to destroy the outsiders.
He did the very same thing in Last Blood where he made his home into hell for those who tested his patience and paid for it.
4. Happy because the Montage at the end was phenomenal
There is a special montage at the end of the Last Blood that will make you relive the Rambo legacy, as well as feel proud of being part of the franchise as an ardent viewer.
Even if you don’t like the film you will end up loving the end credits for the sentimental value they bring with it.
5. Sad because he wasn’t that violent even in Vietnam
The saddest part about Last Blood is the fact that the film is so violent that it will make you grovel.
It is understandable that whenever Rambo is pushed hard, he pushes back harder but here he crosses all limits.
Rambo never pulled out someone’s heart or beheaded anyone during the War or in during his other missions but here he does exactly that. Why he went all Godfather when a simple knife cut would have done the trick is beyond me.
In fact, the creator of Rambo, David Morell hated the Last Blood so much that he said that character could have been named John Smith instead of John Rambo.
It had nothing in common with the character he created in the early ’70s!
6. Sad because it seemed like another case of being there, done that
There is nothing new that Last Blood offers – something bad happens in a peaceful society, a man who has made peace with his past goes back into the game, kills all the bad guys he can find and win in the end.
Charles Bronson has done it, so has Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger and lately Liam Neeson to name a few. They may not have had the surname Rambo attached to their characters but they were as ruthless as one could be.
Stallone could have toned the story down to make it less gruesome so that people below 18 could have enjoyed it as well.
Rated For Adults, the film failed to cater to a new generation of cinemagoers for whom, it’s an old man’s story, for all the older men out there!
7. Sad as there was no political awareness, and Mexicans were shown as bad people
Rambo’s adventures raised political awareness in such a way that even after 30 years, people quote Colonel Trautman’s dialogues when they talk about Afghan people.
Even when he first came back after 20 years in 2008, Rambo was politically updated as he was fighting the bad guys in Burma, which was the center of trouble in those days. However, in his ode to Death Wish, the only thing Stallone, the co-writer of Rambo films, thought could be politically correct was the fact that ‘Mexicans are bad people’, something that can be expected from Donald Trump, but not Rambo.
He could have shown more good people across the border than one!
8. Sad because there is no memorable scene to accompany you back home
In First Blood, the scene where Rambo jumped off a cliff has remained etched in our memories, Rambo II had a scene where Rambo was hiding in plain sight, covered with mud to confuse his trackers.
In the third part, the scene where he fires an explosive arrow at a Russian helicopter was too good to be true while the fourth film had ‘live for nothing or die for something’ dialogue for the audience.
Last Blood has nothing of the sort, making it the most forgettable of all Rambo flicks till now. Even the Rambo animated series had a better screenplay!
9. Grateful because Rambo was running out of ideas
This isn’t the first time a father (or Uncle) has gone out all the way to rescue his daughter (or niece) in a Hollywood film.
In the mid-80s, Arnold Schwarzenegger did the same in Commando, Jean Claude Van Damme took the same route in the 90s with Sudden Death and Liam Neeson has been doing it successfully since 2008. So for Sylvester Stallone to go on the same route is a step back and it would have been better had he opened his windows and looked outside for real issue, issues worth a Rambo than making us watch Taken all over again.
10. Grateful because Stallone was aging without realizing it
He is not getting any younger and the sooner he realizes that, the better. Either he should grow old like Clint Eastwood or like Arnold Schwarzenegger because there is no third way.
Eastwood has been directing films long before the first Rambo was released and Stallone should do the same, or he could take a break from films and join politics like his Escape Plan co-star.
A break would certainly do him good, otherwise, he would rehash some old Hollywood classic and make it his own, by inserting Rambo in it.
11. Grateful that he was able to bring the story full circle
According to the Rambo director, Adrian Grunberg, the Last Blood brings Rambo’s story to a full circle and he would like it to stay that way. However, Stallone has other ideas which might not sit well with the creator of the franchise who killed Rambo in his novel.
Whatever happens, the film concludes Rambo’s struggle with his past and it would be great if the makers now take the prequel route for TV than make another Rambo flick for the cinema.
The audience has changed and being in a cinema with only 6 more people did hurt my pride, the pride that Rambo helped develop back in the day.