Give Rambo a rest

2019-09-20 00:00

Rambo: Last Blood

Director: Adrian Grunberg

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Yvette Monreal


John Rambo is easily on most people’s list of their top five action stars, along with the likes of Jean-Claude van Damme and Steven Seagal. He was always running around sweating, dressed in military fatigues that had survived a few explosions and brandishing an AK-47 to keep the baddies off him. When the bullets in that ran out, he had a knife the size of a small coastline to get him through what was usually an almost impossible mission.

In the sixth and, I pray, final Rambo film, an old, tired-looking Rambo lives his life on a ranch, riding horses and still struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder from the war. No headband or AK, but he has a few Rambo-sized knives and an intricate network of tunnels under his farmhouse.

He stays with his niece Gabrielle (Yvette Monreal), a young girl whose dad was a former adviser of Rambo’s. This man has since turned his back on his daughter and her grandmother. Rambo, being a stand-up gent, took them in and together they live a rather quaint life. That is, until the niece develops a hunger for answers about why her father abandoned them. When she sets off to Mexico to find out, she ends up being kidnapped and Rambo must go to the rescue.

Though the film’s cinematography is slick and there’s an interesting portrayal of a Donald Trump wall between the US and Mexican border, this is the worst film I’ve seen this year. Stallone’s face looks hard boiled and, after decades in Hollywood, the man is still a poor actor. As expected, the film crescendos in a thunderous closing battle in which Rambo turns his ranch into a death trap of vengeance. Rock legends The Doors’ Five to One plays in the background, a song that Jay-Z used a sample of in his infamous track, Takeover. I have noticed a few directors use famous records that were flipped by hip-hop artists, and I’m enjoying the trend.

But on a serious tip, rather go and read a book or hit the theatre than spend your money on this. Can someone reach out to Stallone’s management and tell him to hang it up, asomblief? 

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April 5 2020