‘Rambo: Last Blood’: Rambo deserves a better sendoff

Film: Rambo: Last Blood; Director: Adrian Grunberg; Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Adriana Barraza, Yvette Monreal

By Author  |  Published: 20th Sep 2019  5:33 pm

Rambo – the US Vietnam vet is now heading back home. The place, at least, that he thinks is home. His journey started in 1982. Rambo had lost hope when he returned home in ’82. Now he wants to find it. He heads home to find peace that has eluded him in spite of his globe-trotting to find it.

There are people who have followed his journey since the beginning. There are also many who joined in a bit late. But it is never too late for someone who loves action flicks. Remember it is pure unadulterated action. No logic. Kudos to the septuagenarian for trying.

It has been more than a decade since John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) has left Burma (Myanmar). He’s back in his father’s horse farm. The ‘lone warrior’ is now part of a surrogate family. He works for Maria Beltran (Adriana Barraza), who previously looked after the farm for John’s late father. He is like an uncle figure to the young Gabrielle (Yvette Monreal) who is in search of her father. Ignoring advices, she crosses the border down south in search of her estranged father. The family loses communication with Gabrielle and Rambo travels to bring her back home. He realizes that she is kidnapped by the local sex trafficking cartel. He now starts doing what Rambo does best. Hell hath no fury like Rambo scorned. What follows is mayhem.

Director Adrian Grunberg does not make any effort to address the elephant in the room – sex trafficking. Be it searching for Vietnam POWs, helping Afghans overthrow the Soviets or saving missionaries from being kidnapped, the script of Rambo was very simple – violence. Adrian stays true to the legacy. Tragically killing the entire cartel solves only a part of the problem. This 103-minute outing has about 90 minutes of action. “I haven’t changed. I’m just trying to keep a lid on it, every day,” Rambo says and stays true to it. You can see that Stallone is tired.

That’s what the role requires him to be as he’s back home after about half a century. The main drawback is the climax where gunmen keep chasing Rambo and his ‘niece’ in tunnels as the body count rises instead of beating a strategic retreat is unintentionally comical.

The conclusion proves that when Rambo promises to rip someone’s heart out, you can count on it. Stallone hinted that there could be another instalment and Last Blood need not be taken literally. If true, I sincerely hope it is not as comical and Stallone does take it seriously. Stallone too is responsible for the unintended comical outing as he part wrote the script.

Pulling out someone’s heart is no easy matter. Sitting through Last Blood too, is not. Hope this is the last blood!!


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