Well if you read my previous post, you know that I went to a Rambo marathon at Alamo Drafthouse, which ended with the new film, Last Blood. I only had a passing familiarity with the man, so it was great getting a crash course in Rambo before seeing this newest installment (tho to be fair, I woulda gone to see it anyways). One thing I found watching this series tho is that they all stand alone very well. There’s some very subtle character details threaded throughout, but you really don’t need to watch every one of them to understand the ones that follow. That said, seeing them all in rapid succession made Last Blood stand out as a much different vibe than its predecessors.
We’re almost kinda bringing it back full circle. In First Blood, Rambo was wandering the US and ends up having a big showdown on the home front. Then he wanders the globe for the next few. Rambo (4) ended with him returning to his ranch home in AZ. Last Blood visits him having lived the peaceful life for the last decade. He’s discovered his own found family in the caretaker and her granddaughter who have inherited the property. Uncle John is really more of a father than this college bound child has ever known, but she still wants to know about her bio dad. Against her uncle’s wishes, she ventures across the boarder to confront the man who abandoned her, and she doesn’t make it back. It’s up to Rambo to use his particular set of skills to bring her back.
Structurally, it feels very different from the others, mostly by necessity. Sly’s getting older, he can’t do a non-stop 75 minutes of running around chasing bad guys. He’s gotta be more surgical about it. The action is split up into segments. It really does feel like a Taken movie,I mean the plot is basically the same thing. However, the storyline does also make this the most emotional Rambo film since First Blood. Unlike Rambos 2-4, this fight is personal, and it makes a huge difference.
The style of action is kinda different too. Instead of big guns and wartime sequences, the violence looks like something out of a horror movie. Rambo unleashes his inner jigsaw setting booby traps for the baddies, making this more gruesome than 4, but with an almost comedic feel to it. It’s kinda ridiculous. I do typically enjoy that sort of thing, but it’s not very Rambo.
I do wanna address some of the controversy surrounding this movie. I left the theater amped up on adrenaline from the marathon, that I didn’t notice how problematic some of the plot points are. Simply put, he very violently kills a bunch of Mexican men who chase him across the border. For me, watching it, I was attached to the story so I saw it as him taking revenge on the men who hurt his goddaughter, but I absolutely get how it can be interpreted differently, so I at least want to acknowledge that I see the issue and I want to be sensitive towards it.
Rambo: Last Blood – \m/ \m/ \m/