Has Stallone still got it in Rambo Last Blood

Hailed as one of the greatest action heroes of all time, the iconic John Rambo returns to the big screens one last time, in Rambo Last Blood. It’s been thirty-seven years since he drew first blood, but does Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo still pack a punch? 

Now retired and living a peaceful life on his family’s ranch in Arizona, the Vietnam veteran has to yet again unearth his ruthless combat skills and travel to Mexico to save his niece who has been taken hostage by the Mexican cartel.

Stallone is always watchable as the tortured Rambo and does what he can with what is a very hollow script. I was hoping for Stallone’s last ride as Rambo to take us full circle and bring the film back to the more grounded physiological action drama like the first film. Though his PTSD is touched on Last Blood never goes deep into the effects of violence and war. I had also read that actor Stefan Chapovskiy was to portray a young Rambo so I was expecting more flashbacks which unfortunately we didn’t get. The supporting cast is also all very capable in what ends up being a generic, if not overly gory, action flick. 

However, the depiction of Mexico and the majority of its people is problematic. Most of the Latinos on-screen are broad stereotypes or criminals. In a time of Trump’s America and the racist political rhetoric, this mishandling and representation seems a little grotesque. Then there’s the climax of the movie that is so violent it starts to feel more like a horror movie and its absurdity becomes laughable.

Rambo Last Blood channels Taken meets a very violent Home Alone so if you like your generic action movies with added gore-porn this is the film for you.

Reviewed by Ian Wright.

2 and a half stars
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