Noob Reviews: Rambo: Last Blood
Updated: Jan 13
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is Rambo: Last Blood?
Released in September 2019, Last Blood is the latest film in the Rambo franchise that has been ongoing since First Blood was released in 1982.
Following on eleven years after the events of Rambo (released in 2008) where John Rambo participated in a rescue mission to rescue captive Christian missionaries from Burma. John has taken to a quieter life and taken over the running of his deceased father’s horse ranch (which we saw him arrive at the driveway for, at the end of Rambo) along with his friend (Maria) and her granddaughter (Gabriela).
Unfortunately for John things do not stay quiet for long when Gabriela crosses the border from America to Mexico in search of her biological father, only to be kidnapped by a cartel who wish to force her into a life of prostitution. Once Maria is aware her granddaughter has gone to Mexico, she calls upon John for his assistance in bringing her home, and he follows her trail to Manuel, her last known stop in Mexico.
Needless to say with this being John Rambo we’re talking about, the calm, cool and collected John element is soon replaced with the action-packed special forces trained Rambo. As he fights his way through the streets of Manuel and cuts a bloody swathe through the cartel to return Gabriela to her grandmother.
What type of genre is the film?
Rambo: Last Blood is an action thriller.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- The official trailer linked from Lionsgate Movies’ YouTube channel -
When was Rambo: Last Blood released?
Rambo: Last Blood was released in September 2019.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
For a full cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think of Rambo: Last Blood?
Having been a massive fan of the Rambo franchise since I was old enough to watch them, I was really excited to see a fifth film be made after Rambo came out in 2008 as that film (in my opinion) was one of the best out of the four released up until that point. Unfortunately, Last Blood was a film too far and essentially was made purely to cash in on the franchise’s popularity with one last hurrah that ended quite poorly.
When it comes to the story, Last Blood was your typical modern-day action film in which American soldier/police officer/government agent. Is wronged in by a Mexican/Columbian/South American cartel and they have to go perform deed x to rescue or secure x. It was so stereotypical and dull. Admittedly the same thing about overplayed movie types can be said for the other titles too, but from the trailer through to the end of the film, Last Blood is just a generic American action film that seems a considerable departure from the usual Rambo magic. There are also times during the film where John’s PTSD is brought up. How he tries to deal with his PTSD. And the issues he faces surrounding his integration back into a ‘normal life.’ Although you can see what Dan Gordon and Sylvester Stallone were trying to get across, they failed to deliver any real in-depth or meaningful emotions and feelings in their writing.
Regarding the acting, Sylvester Stallone showed his age a little bit even though he tried his damndest to keep up with the cartel members and younger actors. Don’t get me wrong, I love Sylvester Stallone and have done so since I first saw him as a young actor in Cobra but there comes a time for all roles when they are best put out to pasture. When it comes to the cartel, I thought Hugo Martinez (played by Sergio Peris-Mencheta) was fantastic and portrayed his character as cartel boss quite well. And Yvette Monreal really gave Gabriela her all for the short amount of screen time she had. However, many of the other cast members had nothing about them to make them memorable, meaning most will be forgotten two or three scenes down the line.
Scenery wise, admittedly there were some fantastic set pieces on both sides of the border giving some incredible shots. The choreography for the action sequences and fight scenes was your typical one-man army Rambo (for the most part), but the effects really relied heavily on how big an explosion could you get on the screen at the time which when added into the poor story and lack of character lustre was a bit disappointing that no real effort was put into making Last Blood really stand out.
Overall Rambo: Last Blood was a really disappointing (supposedly) final entry for the Rambo franchise that would have been better off if it had ended with Rambo (2008) as its last entry. Last Blood tried so hard to be relevant and adapt to the modern-day but used too many stale and overused tropes that in the end I think just shot it in the foot. What had been a fantastic franchise before Last Blood really lost its way with the final entry. The film is worth a watch as your bog-standard action film but don’t go into it with too high a hope as it is something you will most likely watch one day and forget by the next.
What rating would you give Rambo: Last Blood?
I would rate Rambo: Last Blood as a mediocre 3 out of 5 bananas.
Rambo: Last Blood was a disappointing last stand for John Rambo that in my opinion, saw him go out on his knees as opposed to on his own two feet, head held high. The lack of originality, in the end, is what killed the Last Blood for me and turned it from an action-packed romp into a yawn fest at times. Although the film is meant to be the last in the franchise, John walked away from his encounter a little worse for wear which gives Stallone and Gordon (Last Blood’s writers) room for another last last stand if they so choose. On a personal note, though, please for the love of God no, just leave Rambo alone before you ruin any more fond memories.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in Rambo: Last Blood and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion. You can check it out on Blu-Ray, DVD or many streaming services
such as Amazon’s Prime Video.