Rambo: Last Blood

You have to hand it to Sylvester Stallone – he never gives up. Proof is in his continual success with the ‘Rocky’ and ‘Rambo’ franchises. They keep coming back with ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ the fifth in the action series. Despite his advancing years, Stallone sees no need to gently retire. Good for him as his recent films have been better than many of his earlier work. Thirty-seven years after the first Rambo entry, his latest has what one expects as only the mumbling Italian Stallion can deliver.

John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) is a Green Beret and Vietnam War soldier living on a farm after an arduous life. Peace isn’t Rambo’s friend with trouble always just around the corner. Asked by his house-keeper to rescue her grand-daughter from a Mexican drug cartel headed by the evil Hugo Martinez (Sergio Peris-Mencheta), Rambo takes up the challenge. Aided by reporter Carmen (Paz Vega), Rambo takes no prisoners in what he hopes is his final dance with vengeance.

‘Rambo: Last Blood’ is the least of the franchise. This isn’t due to the violence or acting, which is exactly what you pay for, but more to do with the story. Rambo works best in a jungle setting with the unknown areas of the deep forest his bloody playground. ‘Last Blood’ finds him in an urban setting which robs the film of any individuality. This makes it like any other action movie with the main plot feeling very familiar.

Few may be aghast at the violence but this is a Rambo film after all. It’s as ghastly as you’d think although Stallone successfully conveys the internal rage and despair his character feels. He’s a far better actor than people give him credit and still equipping himself well in the action sequences. The brisk pacing papers over the cracks of other performances which are adequate at best.

Although Stallone keeps on continuing with what he does, hopefully ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ is the final entry in this series. The franchise has clearly run out of ideas on the basis of this instalment. With rumours of further entries, the mantra ‘ it ain’t over until it’s over’ apparently applies to Stallone’s cinematic stamina.

Rating out of 10: 5

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