Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo is a true, blue American icon!
His first movie was more of a drama that turned into a1970s action movie as a commentary of the Vietnam Nam soldiers we ignored upon their return. The next two First Blood movies were the template to the extravagance of the 1980s action movie that is always copied but never duplicated.
For the template for Last Blood, you need to do back to the grind house revenge thrillers of the early 1970s like Rolling Thunder. 2008’s Rambo gave us the perfect ending as could be for our hero as he talks up the driveway of his family homestead. John finally returned home.
Rambo: Last Blood (2019)
So what happen to him since? The first quarter of this tightly wound 90 minute tale gives us the answer of what John Rambo has been doing for the last eleven years. I am happy to say our man Rambo finally found some measure of peace.
He has helped raise his teenage niece Gabrielle, played by Yvette Montreal, who is now about to leave for college. He makes a living training horses as he copes with the demons of his past on his families ranch just over the Mexican border. Trouble ensues when Gabrielle insists on going to Mexico to confront her estranged father. Mexico is such a hell hole even Rambo doesn’t want to go there.
So of course, she sneaks over the border and gets herself kidnapped by two brothers running a cartel and sold into brothels as a sex slave. What’s an uncle to do, but get in his American made pick up truck and cross the border and go all ugly American in an attempt to get his niece back.
Stallone’s Ultimate Action Movie Acting
When the grandmother says she feels like her heart has been ripped out, that is some serious foreshadowing going down. Stallone gets to do some ultimate movie acting when he tells the niece he has seen how dark a mans heart can get and some men can’t change.
When she says that he has, Rambo points out he is only able to keep a lid on it. My favorite scene is when Rambo throws his anti psychosis medication to the ground, you know the beast is about to come out and god damm anybody who is responsible or stands in his way.
Rambo begins his vengeance by infiltrating the cartel stronghold and takes out one of the brothers in a particularly gruesome manner, leaving a picture of his niece behind as his death card. And as if that didn’t get his point across, he deposits the brothers head on the road between Mexico and his homestead as a challenge to come find him. And come find him, they do!
For All Rambo Has Avenged!
The final act becomes a twisted version of Home Alone if it occurred in Hades! We got to see Rambo as a tunnel rat because in the intervening years, he has dug them throughout his farm, almost like he expected this day to come.
He lures the cartel into his version of hell, which he calls home with all manner of boobytraps- IEDs, claymores, punji sticks, pits, bear traps, crossbows- if you get shot by Rambo consider yourself lucky because nobody dies easy in this movie.
What a resolution to our hero’s story arc. At one point Rambo states “To this I defend”. I would add to that “For all you have avenged”. Enjoy your rest John. You have earned it. Until we meet again.