Rambo: Last Blood (2019) Review

Director: Adrian Grunberg

Genre(s): Action, Crime, Thriller

Runtime: 89 minutes

MPAA Rating: R

IMDb Page

John Rambo is an interesting character. He’s a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-ridden Vietnam War veteran who shows tremendous compassion…and kills people with hammers. It makes sense if you’ve seen the movies. Anyway, the fifth entry into the series sees Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) traveling to Mexico to rescue a girl under his protection (Yvette Monreal) who’s been abducted by human traffickers. Even if it’s the weakest of the films in the franchise so far, it’s still a savagely efficient revenge picture.

Rambo: Last Blood is a pretty predictable movie, but that’s not really the point. It was never a series that featured wild plot twists. Instead, this flick is an audience manipulation piece that wallows in the horrors of human trafficking before delivering a thrilling, gory catharsis. I should emphasize the word “gory,” because this movie doesn’t shy away from showing bad guys being blown to bits or splattered all over the place. Most of the action is saved for the grand finale, which the film does a solid job of building up to.

As I mentioned earlier in the review, I currently consider this to be the least best of the Rambo franchise. One of the reasons for this is that it feels like the series has become a follower, rather than a leader, in the action genre. The plot is remarkably similar to Taken (2008), with a final action sequence that brings to mind Skyfall (2012) or, Hell, even Home Alone (1990). Okay, so Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) borrowed a lot from Uncommon Valor (1983) and Missing in Action (1984), but it still felt like it had its own, distinct identity.

Rambo: Last Blood is a satisfying shoot-’em-up (or fry-’em-up or bash-’em-up) for fans of the action genre. It’s not exactly original, but it’s largely true to the Rambo character and is ruthlessly straightforward and lacking in convoluted storytelling. It’s pretty short at 89 minutes, displaying a well-told action-crime-thriller story that stays on target just like the titular character stalking his prey. With all these fancy superhero movies filled to the brim with content being released in the past decade or so, it’s nice to see an actioner that keeps things simple.

My rating is 8 outta 10.

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