Rambo: Last Blood Review - A Tale of Brutal Revenge
I just wanted to throw in a quick take on this one since it just hit DVD and Blu today, and this is the first chance I've gotten to see it so I'll just cut to the chase. I fucking loved it.
Here we have a much older Rambo, both in terms of his character, and the fact that it's been 10 years since the last entry. Usually when so much time has gone by, it rarely ever reaches the level of it's predecessor, but hot damn was this one just as good as 2008's Rambo. I will admit it's a very different Rambo film than we're used to. Gone is his trademark long hair and bandanna, replaced with shorter silver hair and generic clothing. But he's still a beast of a killing machine, and this time around, uses his skills to exact revenge on his home turf as opposed to the jungle or desert terrain that we've been accustomed to.
I feel that once you accept these changes (the standard Rambo look and location setting), you'll be rewarded to a brutal tale of revenge that delivers enough gore, blood and kills that reminded me why I enjoyed the last one so much. Now, it might not have as much action as you'd expect, instead delivering a slower paced film that builds up to a killer finale. But even so, at a brisk 89 minutes (unless you're watching the Extended Cut), time flies by so quick you'll be surprised when it's over so quickly.
When the action finally does come around, let me tell you, it's fucking brutal, gory and awesome. Basically they came up with an insane amount of over the top kills to try and match the last film to such a degree that when this part of the film does finally hit, you can easily forgive the lack of it up until this point. Because at the end of the day, Last Blood is really more of a drama/action/thriller rather than a straight-up action film like the previous 3 entries, but not as far into the thriller genre as the first one did.
As hesitant as I was going in, (the preview images of him wearing a cowboy hat and raincoat while riding a horse in the rain didn't help; yet those scenes aren't even in the final film) I was pleasantly surprised at how good this was, and to be honest, I quite enjoyed this older, but not any less violent take on the character. Here he continues to struggle with his past, but looks forward to doing nothing but keeping to himself and living on his ranch with his adopted family. He has no use for the outside world anymore, so has become sort of a loner. And when the only 2 people he cares about anymore are threatened, he goes full-on Rambo and it's glorious.
Still, as much as I enjoyed this, I feel the title of Last Blood was a mistake. Sly has already mentioned that he would love to revisit the character again, so that title feels premature. Instead I would have loved for this to be a sort of new trilogy of an older, wiser Rambo in his old years with a title more fitting like "Old Man Rambo, Rambo: The Later Years, Rambo: The War at Home, Rambo: An Old Mans Revenge", or something to that effect, to kickstart a whole new level of Rambo films that would be significantly different than the previous installments.
As a whole, Last Blood was awesome. It's slow buildup, hometown setting and emotional drama mark it as a very different Rambo film, while giving us some of the things that we've come to love about this series of films, and that's not such a bad thing.