Director: Adrian Grünberg
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, Sergio Peris-Mencheta
Release Date: December 17, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Almost four decades after he drew first blood, Sylvester Stallone is back as one of the greatest action heroes of all time, John Rambo. Now, Rambo must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission. A deadly journey of vengeance, Rambo: Last Blood marks the last chapter of the legendary series.
‘Rambo: Last Blood’ rejoins our aging hero John Rambo (Stallone) who now spends his days in a calm and rewarding farm life, tending to the land and spending time with those he cares for. But when one of the people closest to him goes missing, Rambo prepares himself for one final mission. Heading into the heart of Mexico with little to go on, Rambo forges his way into the underground in order locate the cartel supposedly responsible for taking his loved one with the intention of rescuing her and eliminating as many of those on the opposing side as possible in the process, because this war is personal.
Directed this time around by Adrian Grünberg (Get the Gringo) from a screenplay written by Matt Cirulnick (TV’s Absentia) and Sylvester Stallone (The Expendables) which was based upon an initial story by Stallone and Dan Gordon respectively, Grünberg does a solid job at the helm of ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ smoothly guiding along the bloody action and excitement. The cast of course features Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) reprising his infamous role as John Rambo, and also starring Paz Vega (Kill the Messenger), Sergio Peris-Mencheta (TV’s Snowfall), Adriana Barraza (TV’s The Strain), Yvette Monreal (TV’s Matador) and more, with the majority offering fitting and solid enough performances for the most part in each of their respective roles.
‘Rambo: Last Blood’ is a brutal and unapologetically graphic fifth and potentially final entry in the saga of John Rambo that never pulls its punches. In many ways this isn’t your average Rambo film, with no war-like scenarios or dictators to be taken out, the film instead keeps things incredibly personal, making for a rescue/revenge flick amped up to the extreme and with more wild violence and bloodshed than many will be prepared for (I’m fairly certain much of it even surpasses the already notably graphic fourth film which says a lot in itself). Stallone definitely hasn’t lost his talent for stardom, nor his physical prowess, and the insane levels the film explores showcase that quite definitively. The film occasionally finds itself struggling along with a few plot elements and doesn’t fully manage to achieve a perfect pace until partway in, and while it certainly isn’t perfect or the best of the franchise by any means, it’s a worthy addition that dares to step outside of the familiar pattern of the series and is definitely one of the wildest and most shockingly graphic action flicks in recent memory. I would strongly urge fans of the franchise and of Stallone who haven’t yet had a chance to check it out to try and give ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ a whirl and decide for yourself, chances are you’ll find plenty to love about it even if may not be your favorite entry in the ‘Rambo’ saga.
Overall, ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ takes a moment to get going and really find itself, but when it eventually does it comes full force, serving up an unflinchingly graphic and action packed ride with plenty of memorable moments, not to mention quite possibly the most bloodshed and gnarly violence of the entire franchise. ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ is highly recommended for fans of the franchise and of Stallone, as well as action movie fans in general who should all find plenty to appreciate about this wild ride. It may not be a groundbreaking or even perfect film, but still manages to offer up more than enough crazy, blood-drenched action and fun to make it well worthwhile. It should at least prove well worth ninety minutes of your time and the cost of a rental for those that have been looking forward to it but missed it in theaters.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks quite great as a whole and serves up a sharp, smooth and clean presentation from start to finish. It holds up impressively even during the various frenetic, heavily populated and often darkly lit action sequences, never resulting in anything occurring onscreen becoming negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation that looks pretty great altogether and should please fans of the franchise.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack makes a great compliment to the onscreen action and insanity, offering a clean, crisp and hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send bullets, debris and plenty more aggressively whipping throughout the various speakers during the action sequences, while contributing music, bits of crowd chatter and other ambience to the various moments in-between, and never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible along the way. Overall, this is a fantastic Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that sounds marvelous from start to finish and never disappoints.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ includes a couple of noteworthy extras that fans of the franchise should enjoy. Included on the release is the Multi-part Production Diary ‘Drawing Last Blood’ (running approximately 50 minutes in length) which chronicles the filming process and features tons of behind the scenes footage and interviews/comments by the cast and crew, plus more. We’re also treated to the Featurette ‘From First Note to Last Blood: Music for The Massacres’ (running approximately 17 minutes) which explores the process of crafting the film’s score. The ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (approximately 1 minute) for the movie is also included.