Film: Rambo: Last Blood
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, Yvette Monreal
Director: Adrian Grunberg
Rating: * * *
The fifth and final film in the Rambo franchise which hits theatres 37 years after Sylvester Stallone essayed the titular traumatised Vietnam veteran, continues to be as politically incorrect as some of its predecessors. Now John Rambo, living out his geriatric years in self- imposed retirement on his father’s Arizona ranch, single handedly takes on the baddies who abduct women for sex slave rings and drug them into submission (among other things). Such is the intimidation, the hapless victims refuse to run away even after they are set free by Rambo who endures a brutal beating himself before a journalist (Paz Vega) helps him recover sufficiently to set out on his mission. The story from thereon revolves around the rescue mission in Liam Neeson “Taken” style.
Our world weary protagonist having put the trauma of his war years behind him, reared horses, fortified a warren of Vietnam’s Cuchi underground tunnels and strove to foster a “niece” (Yvette Monreal) who is actually the granddaughter of his housekeeper, before she took off for Mexico looking for her feckless birth father. No prizes for guessing the outcome.
When Rambo tells a baddie, “I want to rip out your heart” he means it. Before proceeding to that deed, he rips out collar bones, decapitates, breaks limbs, etc etc. A certain demographic will whoop with unholy glee at this especially during the bloody climactic finale where the baddies get despatched to Hell in gruesome ways. A snatch of dialogue reveals their world view – their victims are “things.” Stallone’s toned body at age 73 is impressive, his weather-beaten visage, sad in repose. When he rides off into the sunset I thought a sanitised sixth sequel would be quite in order.