My Mom used to say "you can't get blood out of a turnip". Sylvester Stallone seems hyper committed to proving that adage wrong with his latest sequel RAMBO: LAST BLOOD.
The film starts quietly, detailing the aging Vietnam vet's mellow retired life on a secluded Arizona ranch.
Much of the opening details the massive series of tunnels that Rambo has carved out beneath his ranch. They're huge, incredibly intricate and make virtually no sense, other than to set up the film's inevitable conclusion.
Rambo's niece Gabrielle lives on his ranch, about to graduate high school and appearing in the film mostly to make some of the dumbest decisions in the history of film in order to set up the action.
Gabrielle (Yvette Monreal) goes to Mexico to find her Father who abandoned her as a child, is grabbed by a prostitution ring faster than she can order a cerveza and sets up Rambo for one last mission of revenge.
Rambo is soon squaring off against the most lethal drug/crime syndicate south of the border.
Sergio Peris-Mencheta (Life Itself) is the best thing in the movie as cartel leader Hugo Martinez. He's lethal, scary and the best actor on display.
We all know (even from the trailers and commercials) that a huge group from the cartel is going to come to Rambo's ranch for a final showdown.
It's the best part of the movie, like the best scenes of the John Wick films all boiled down into a 20 minute, blood drenched orgy of revenge fantasy.
The finale is well staged, well shot and a blast, but after about twenty explosions, I was wondering where the police were. I thought we had police in Arizona.....hmmmm.
At only 89 minutes, its a fast and furious elegy for one of Stallone's most enduring characters. It's also a completely superfluous chapter that has no reason to exist, except for wringing that final blood out of the proverbial turnip.
Stallone is Stallone. He remains supernaturally fit at 73 years old and he delivers exactly what fans expect.
The biggest flaw of the film is showing scenes of "First Blood" and "Rambo: First Blood Part 2" over the closing credits. I instantly remembered just how much better those films were than this one and its all I could think about as that highlight reel ran.
LAST BLOOD is laughably predictable, brainless and the ending is fun in the Wick/Tarantino way of stylized hyper-violence but please, please Sly, make this the last chapter. Don't get your incredibly muscled, bleeding body out of that rocker chair....oops, is that you on the horse? Come on, man!
RAMBO LAST GASP gets a C.