RAMBO: LAST BLOOD Review - Sylvester Stallone Returns For A Gruesome, Aggressively Stupid Sequel

Sylvester Stallone returns as Rambo this weekend in what's being billed as the final entry in the franchise. Most critics have not been kind, but are they being a bit harsh? Eh, no. Mild SPOILERS ahead...

Given the declining quality of its sequels, it can be easy to forget how good the original First Blood really is. A great action movie, sure, but it also had something to say about the Vietnam War and the treatment of its veterans, and Sylvester Stallone's PTSD-afflicted John Rambo was far more complex than the vengeance-fulled killing machine he'd later morph into.

Many fans were hoping Last Blood would return to the franchise's roots, but, unfortunately, it's probably the worst of the lot.

It's true that nobody goes into a Rambo movie expecting a clever, nuanced story, but is competence too much to ask? The script is so basic and cliched that, even at a lean 88 minutes, the film still feels like a slog.

If you've watched the trailer, you know the story. Mexican cartel kidnaps Rambo's niece (see what happens when you leave US soil young lady!) and he goes to save her, devising a brilliant, intricate plan to infiltrate enemy territory and bring his family home on the way.

Nah, not really. He actually just walks right up to the head honcho - who is protected by an army - and asks him to let her go, getting himself beaten half to death and making his nieces's situation infinitely worse in the process. These movies were never what you'd call clever, but was Rambo himself always this dumb?

To be fair, Stallone does deliver a pretty good performance, and if it's action you're after you will not be disappointed on that front. This movie is violent. Like, slasher movie-level blood and gore. Dismemberments, decapitations, disembowelments, immolations - you name it, ol' Johnny Rambo inflicts it. The unrelenting brutality does start to get tedious after a while, though, and even the most hardened gorehounds may find themselves losing interest.

If you're a die-hard fan of this franchise and all you care about is Rambo dispatching lots of people in the most gruesome ways possible then you'll probably get something out of Last Blood, but everyone else would do best to avoid. Stallone is always watchable, it's just a shame what will likely be his final Rambo movie failed to give the character a worthy sendoff.

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