So if you read my Rambo Retrospective, you know I enjoyed most of the Rambo movies quite a bit but acknowledge that many of them had issues. Rambo: Last Blood is no exception.

The Good

The action in this movie is excellent. Rambo does what he does best, kill people imaginatively with flair. People get spikes in the face, their balls ripped off, mangled, beaten, and Mola Ram-med.

Stallone gives a good performance. He’s finally found some happiness but with everything that’s happened in his life, it’s shown to be fragile. He just can’t get away from what he is, what he’s been turned into. There’s a lot of tragedy here and his ending, ambiguous as it is, is appropriate.

This is not woke. Mexico is portrayed as a crime-ridden hellhole where kidnappings happen. Of course the SJW woke brigade saw this and were triggered by how badly Mexicans were portrayed, clearly missing out on the good people in Mexico that helped Rambo. If these people were white, there wouldn’t be any triggering.

I guess SJW’s only see the bad Mexicans. Hmm. Draw your own conclusions.

The Bad

While I generally enjoyed the movie on a surface level, I can’t excuse the lackluster plot. People make very dumb decisions and I could clearly see what was going to happen many minutes before it did. I had the plot figured out early on and then was just counting minutes for the big action blow out. That’s not a good sign.

The bad guys are as bad as it gets and while I have no doubt there are people this bad out there, I’m not sure how they got Rambo’s house as easily as they did. I don’t know why Rambo is creating all these tunnels on his farm other than because we need a big action moment. I don’t know why this girl wouldn’t go home immediately instead of clubbing in a dangerous situation. The father’s explanation of why he left his daughter wasn’t emotional, it was simply expedient to get us to the next plot point.

I really wanted to like this better. Another script polish and I could see this being much better, but as of now, I can only see it as “mostly fine.” It didn’t really stick with me after the fact. The gore is visceral but not really that memorable or thematic. Rambo does what he does and quite frankly, I felt the entire movie was set up as an excuse to get him to do it again.

Maybe it all rang more credible with a forgiving audience, but lord knows I really like the series, warts and all. And I didn’t hate this. But I still think the fourth movie was a much better film that had something to say and never felt forced. In fact, I’m rethinking my previous review after seeing this one.

Also, Rambo with short hair doesn’t work for me. But that’s my issue.

The Verdict

Overall I had a decent time, but for an 89 minute movie, I was looking at my watch a lot waiting for the big action to start. It didn’t betray the character and was perfectly serviceable as an action movie. I’ll let it simmer a while and revisit when it comes out on home video.