Rambo: Last Blood Recap

Jamie

Rambo is back, Jack! And boy is he old. When the girl he has helped raise decides to try to find her father in Mexico and is kidnapped by a gang, he is ready to spring back into action to save her. Can he save the girl and kill all the bad guys before it’s too late? Find out in… Rambo: Last Blood.

How?! Rambo has spent the last decade living it up on his horse farm in Arizona. He loves the quiet life of training horses, helping raise the daughter of the woman who helps him with his housekeeping, and building intricate tunnels under the ground (naturally). When the girl says she wants to go to Mexico to find her father Rambo is like “no…” but obviously she is going to go. When she gets down there a former friend of hers sells her to a gang running a prostition ring. Realizing what’s happened Rambo heads down Mexico way in order to bust some skulls. He tracks her from place to place punching people and snapping their bones, only to get nearly killed when the gang confronts him about why he’s skulking about. After a long recovery with the help of an investigative reporter, he convinces her to get him the necessary information to get find her. Busting in, he’s able to recover the girl, but she dies from her injuries on the way back to Arizona. Devastated Rambo totally pimps up his tunnels into a death trap and heads back to Mexico. There he kills one of the leaders of the gang and goads the rest to follow him back to their death. They oblige. Lots of explosions, bows and arrows, and punching and shooting later and they are all dead and Rambo is alive. THE END. Big Question: The big elephant in the room… is this film racist? The obvious answer is yes (just like Death Wish is racist)… but also somehow less racist than I thought it would be considering the hullabaloo.

Why?! I really could have just written one of these for the entire series. Rambo wants to save (some POWs/Trautman/some missionaries/the girl he considers his daughter) and will stop at nothing to rescue them/win. And as is the case with all of the films (particularly the last couple) the bad guys are cartoonishly evil and do some truly terrible shit because they are evil.

Who?! I’m struggling a little for this category so I’ll just wax poetic about Rambo. Really the most important thing to wonder is what would happen if Rambo had to rescue his daughter-figure from the clutches of Jason. Would he die. Jason is a supernatural monster powered by lightning. And Rambo has some sweet muscles but no paranormal powers himself. My conclusion though is that Rambo survives. Jason always does get put back into hibernation at the end of the film. Why not by Rambo?

What?! It really took me out of the film to watch Rambo with his dying breath reach for a final sip of Bulleit Bourbon and washes it down with a refreshing Coca-Cola. But seriously Rambo really abandoned the product places following the 80s. Also can’t expect there to really be props for sale yet but there is already two replica knives from the film for sale… seems impossible.

Where?! Nice split setting between Arizona and Mexico. Good example of both and pretty equally represented. I guess if I had to give it to one of the spots as the primary setting I would go with Mexico as Rambo films are really defined by the setting in which Rambo kicks ass and takes names. Given the plot it does seem necessary. A.

When?! As has become tradition the temporal setting is really just “present day.” However, in this case we do get a little more specificity as the beginning of the film revolves around Rambo’s daughter-figure heading off to college in the near future. So likely we are thinking August 2019. Better than the others. C.

Well it’s better than the fourth film. I thought this one started out pretty good. A little strange that all of a sudden Rambo was super talkative and said more than six words. Seemed a little out of character, but I guess fatherhood will do that to you. The latter half was still not really for me, but again somehow more palatable than the fourth. I think they stumbled in killing Rambo’s daughter-figure and probably should have just followed through on the obvious ending of Rambo killing the gang, but also getting mortally wounded in the process. That actually would have been kinda great and honestly do they really think they’re going to maybe make another one? Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Phew, we finally did it. We prepped our mind to go and watch a real (and hopefully the last) Rambo film in theaters. Our minds promptly shut down and now I only know Rambo. My mind has been consumed by Rambo. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – The rumors surrounding this film were that it was aggressively racist. I think the original story was described as Rambo as border control or something … or like he takes on an entire cartel himself. It changed since then, so I don’t think it is actually racist, but it isn’t great when you go into a film literally only knowing that about it. What are my expectations? Alright, let’s aim low. I will be pleased if this is better than the fourth one which I hated. If we can get there, I’ll be really really pleased with how my theater experience went.

The Good – Immediately pleasantly surprised to see what Stallone chose to do with Rambo. The softening warrior who finds new meaning in life via a surrogate daughter is precisely the kind of ending I would hope for Rambo. Additionally, while the film didn’t really feel like a Rambo film at any particular time, I thought the story actually made a pretty good movie for the first 30 minutes or so. And gosh darn it, I can’t help it: I like Stallone. I find his level of charisma the thing that is mostly lacking in the current crop of over-muscled action stars. No wonder we keep on making action blockbusters with old people from the 80s.

The Bad – The Home Alone ending is, somehow, the worst part of the entire movie. It looked like they had to recut the film and just set something up that was both familiar and able to be shot in 30 different segments by a B-crew over a two week span. I also really didn’t like that they killed off the daughter-figure. I think the choice to have her go through the hardship she faced is perhaps understandable (contrasting with something like Taken), but to kill her manages to undo everything I thought they did well with Old Rambo in the beginning of the film. Him killing off the cartel and dying to save this young woman who gave him a reason to live in his old age would have been a perfect send off for Rambo’s character. Through all his killing, facing off against evil because of the country / morals he believed in, and he ends up dying for someone he believes in? That’s beautiful. And they threw it away.

The BMT – Meh. I think I would rather just give the first as the best film, the second as the best action film, the third as the best ridiculous action film, and the fourth as the worst film. I don’t really feel the need to ever watch this again. But if you’ve watched the first four, the fifth one I guess completes the set. A better send off than the fourth at least. Did it meet my expectations? Resoundingly. Honestly I thought the first half was a pretty good film. Wasn’t really a Rambo film, but still, a pleasantly interesting story. Which is a lot better than the hot garbage that is Rambo (2008) from start to finish.

Roast-radamus – Hmmm, I think again the combination of Arizona and Mexico gives a pretty compelling Setting as a Character (Where?) for this film as well. They really really know settings. After that it’ll just end up competing in the Live category which it will definitely lose. There are definitely going to be worse 2019 films I think.

StreetCreditReport.com – This is where this gets a bit difficult since it just came out. I think Stallone will gather a Razzie nod for his performance, the Razzies are getting a little weird with the voting and I don’t think they’ll be able to avoid the allure of awarding Stallone again. Otherwise I doubt it’ll get much play on any of the big lists / awards. It has a built in audience and I think people actually do consider these things “good for what they are”.

BMT Live Theater Experience – I once again ventured off to Cineworld. This time I made sure that I was getting the 2D showing specifically, to avoid another Hellboy situation where I’m getting like … blood sprayed in my face during the 4DX showing or something. I actually can barely remember anything about the showing besides that the guy next to me walked about half way through. I thought he was just going to the bathroom but … nope, he never came back. Very pleasant experience, a rarity for Cineworld, but I was impressed with what happens when you don’t go at like 11PM on a Thursday … turns out it isn’t super gross and weird when other people are there. Go figure.

Cheerios, and back to you Jamie!

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