Fair Value of Last Blood: -$5.50. As sequels to Home Alone go, it’s the best. As films from the Rambo franchise, it’s the worst.
Tagline: The Legend Comes Home
Entire Story in Two Sentences: Our nation’s problems with opiate addiction can be solved by a sufficient application of machetes, knives, and high explosives.
Homo-Eroticism: None! A fair amount of extreme misogyny from the human trafficking bad guys, but there’s nary an oiled pectoral or a glance of camaraderie to be found in this film.
Corpse Count: 47
How Bad Is It Really? Ok, tell me, who were the bad guys in Rambo: First Blood?
A Really Corrupt Sheriff’s Department, but they had to call in the National Guard!
Right. Now, how about the bad guys in Rambo: First Blood: Part Two?
Well in that movie, Rambo single-handedly won the Vietnam War. You’re Welcome, America!
Moving on, the bad guys in Rambo III?
Oh, that was the movie where Rambo defeated the Soviet Union, and we’ve never had any trouble from Russia ever since!
Last question: Bad guys in John Rambo?
Didn’t he kill, like, half of the Army of Myanmar with a .50 cal HMG?
Yeah, he did, it was pretty rad.
Uh, so who are the bad guys in Last Blood?
A couple of cholos with gold-plated AK-47s.
And this, you see, is why Last Blood is so underwhelming. Previous to now, the thrill of the Rambo franchise was in seeing a one-man army go up against an entire state, a government, with superior manpower, firepower, training, and organization. Watching how one desperate but dangerous man would fashion his own clothing, his own weapons, and turn the tables against the forces of tyranny.
Here, John Rambo basically does a version of the ending of Taxi Driver, with a slightly higher body count. We never root for our protagonist because we never respect the competence of the villains. The contest is never in question.
Last Blood is clearly derivative from elements of Taken, Sicario, and Logan (all vastly superior films). There’s nothing that feels particularly…Rambo about this film. It could have been any generic film in the “Angry Old White Man Shoots at Brown People” genre- it could have been a Death Wish, or a Clint Eastwood vehicle, or even a Steven Seagal film.
One-Liner: This is what it feels like.
Post-Mortem One Liner: I’ve lived in a world of death.. That’s another problem, this film never gets quippy. It’s never having fun. Everybody’s scowling all the time.
Stupid Political Content: John Rambo is responsible for his loved niece’s death. She’s been overdosed on heroin? Well guess what, pal; they have hospitals and methadone clinics in Mexico! Maybe if you hadn’t spent all night trying to drive her back to Arizona, she might have lived! Basically this is a movie where John Rambo kills a racket of a cartel in order to remain in denial of his own complicity in killing his niece.
This is a film of it’s times, just as the other Rambo films were. First Blood was about teaching us to fear homeless veterans. First Blood: Part Two taught us to get over the Vietnam blues, and that we should just shoot up Third World Nations some more. Rambo Three taught us to be grateful to our loyal friends, the Mujahideen of Afghanistan. John Rambo taught us that pacifism never works, human rights are for pussies, and the proper solution to rogue nations is generous helpings of .50 Browning HMG. So what is the lesson of Last Blood? Clearly, we need to stop relying in law enforcement and instead looked towards armed vigilantes planting improvised explosive devices throughout our border lands. It’s worked so well for Central America, after all.
Novelty Death: John Rambo shoves a pipe through a guy’s neck.
Crowning Moment of Awesome: Probably the scene where Rambo ‘starts the war’ by going into the cartel’s mansion complex to kill one of the two brothers who run the cartel. It’s strike and fade stealth parkour punctuated by the extreme violence of whirling machetes. Monologues aside, John Rambo behaves more like Jason Voorhies in this film.
Was there an Atomic Blast at the End? No, but Rambo does blow up his entire ranch complex, except for the farmhouse. Because what you really want to do after committing the largest mass killing in Arizona’s history is to sit on the porch and watch the sunrise.
Lessons Learned: Americans, you must never ever travel to foreign countries for any reasons, for you will be killed by the human trafficking gangs that run the rest of the world. At no point should you ever call upon law enforcement or anybody for help. Instead, just make sure to give everyone clues so they can tracked you down to your elaborately stocked survivalist complex, where you can eliminate them by means of clever traps, most of which involve wooden planks studded with nails.