Just plain wrong

Will Ferris
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RAMBO: LAST BLOOD (18) 89 Minutes

Rambo: Last Blood is one of the most tasteless, artistically deprived films I have ever had the displeasure of laying my eyes upon – and I’ve seen Showgirls.

In Sylvester Stallone’s latest attempt to keep himself relevant, we find war veteran John Rambo living his later life on an Arizonan ranch accompanied by best mate Maria (Adriana Barraza) and her granddaughter, Gabriela (Yvette Monreal).

The old timer is keen to remind us he’s retired from the action days and committed to living a normal life. But when Gabriela ventures to Mexico in the hopes of finding her biological father, she gets caught up with some bad folk from the Mexican cartel and is kidnapped.

Rambo channels Liam Neeson and vows to hunt down the kidnappers, using as much brute force and gore as is expected of an action thriller of this calibre.

Make no mistake, whilst you may get similar vibes as that of Taken – this dry 89 minutes does in no way even eclipse the entertainment value of Luc Besson’s acclaimed hit, no matter how many plot points Stallone has tried to copy and paste.

One of the first rules of film making is to prioritise the script and treat it like the holy bible, something Rambo: Last Blood completely dismisses.

Rather than exploring the psychological trauma of a war veteran, we’re subjected to fast paced sequences with little substance and unnecessary gore. Even the writer, David Morrell has said he felt “degraded” and “dehumanized” by the film.

But worse than having to subject one’s ears to Stallone’s painful dialogue is the films horrible use of ethnic stereotyping, particularly of those on the other side of the US border.

This film really feels like a Republican love letter to Trump’s American dream. It almost feels like an NRA campaign, which really does leave an unsettling feeling in the gut. Not only is it outdated, it’s tasteless and just plain wrong.

There is nothing to this film. No point and certainly no real message. What’s advertised as the last chapter in Rambo’s endless saga is in fact another loose ended blood fest for future directors to jump in on for a quick buck. Honestly, it should be confined to the history books and kept there.

Film is supposed to evolve and grow with new, original ideas but Rambo: Last Blood only tries to bring it down. I would implore Stallone to wash his hands of the franchise, but there’s very little hope of that when a pay cheque is involved.

RATING: 2/10