If Stallone fans were surprised when the aging star returned for “Rambo” after a 20-year break, they were likely floored when the 73-year-old actor again suited up over a decade later with 2019’s “Rambo: Last Blood.” Seems “Rambo” fans were surprisingly moved by his final stand too, honoring “Last Blood” with an 81% Fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating. Critics, however, did not feel the franchise saved the best for last, ranking “Last Blood” the worst of the “Rambo” movies.
The final flick finds the titular hero calling his deceased father’s Arizona ranch home, and running the outfit with his old friend Maria (Adrianna Barraza) and her granddaughter Gabriela (Yvette Monreal). But when Gabriela is kidnapped, brutalized, and eventually murdered by drug cartel baddies on a trip to Mexico, Rambo turns his blood-lusting eyes to bringing the cartel down on his own.
Yes, “Last Blood” is an atypical “drug cartels are bad” kind of movie. And yes, Rambo takes his revenge in vintage Rambo fashion. While it lacks grace, and originality, “Last Blood” is still a suitable enough final chapter in the “Rambo” saga which, amid the often groan-worthy barbarism, aims to deliver a wildly unconventional hero’s journey about a broken soul searching for peace, justice, and hope in an ocean of blood and misery. Whether or not it achieves that goal is up to the viewer.