Directed by Adrian Grünberg
Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) has settled down to life on the farm. He is raising horses now. I think he is anyway because they are a little fuzzy on what exactly this farm does. He has an adopted daughter named Gabriela (Yvette Monreal). How Rambo was able to adopt or be let near a child is beyond me. I would assume that his activities since the first Rambo movie are quite well-known to authorities at the minimum. Child services probably should have quickly stepped in here.
Gabriela’s mother passed because of some tragic and vaguely defined disease and she wants to reconnect with her father that abandoned her shortly after her mother’s death. Her friend finds the father living in Mexico and Gabriela goes down to reconnect with him only to get drugged and sold into a sex slave ring. Rambo rescues her but she dies shortly after from an overdose purposely given to her. That is when the action finally begins, and Rambo lures the members of the ring into a trap.
The movie isn’t bad. It’s just not the greatest entry in the Rambo film series. The film is a little slow in the beginning. There is a lot of character establishment going on in comparison to previous entries. Things don’t pick up until he has to go save Gabriela but even then that’s kind of slow. And finally, the action kicks into overdrive when the bad guys show up at Rambo’s farm. This is a Rambo movie and it should have been balls to the wall action after the first twenty minutes
When the bad guys finally make it to the farm it’s all out mayhem and some of the best kills I’ve seen in an action movie in quite a while. They do not flinch from showing the blood and gore. The problem I have with that is that the bad guys barely fight back. Rambo is able to wipe them out with little effort. He is almost always just off to the side watching them fall into his traps.
The film itself tries to connect to the other films but it’s nothing like the other films. It’s much slower paced overall. They try to fill the slowness of the movie with character moments. Rambo movies though are not explorations of the characters. Seriously. Can you really say anything about any of the characters besides Rambo from any of the movies? They simply existed in their respective films.
There are tons of paternal moments between Rambo and Gabriela but that just never quite makes the grade. Who really cares about Rambo the Dad? We want Rambo the One-Man Army. There are also moments where Rambo and the grandmother (Adriana Barraza) vaguely discuss the past. The conversation is sprinkled with allusions to pain and loss and even Gabriela’s tragic backstory. What strikes me is the grandmother seems very OK that a guy with serious PTSD is raising a teenage girl.
The movie is shot very well but the story is only OK. It is a much quieter film overall than the previous efforts. And that makes it feel disconnected from the other movies. It feels like a side story. I will say if it is to be a sendoff movie it is a nice sendoff for the character courtesy of the montage at the very end.
The movie is not bad. It is just a movie you do not necessarily have to watch even if you’re a fan of the Rambo films. If you choose the fourth film to be your last contact with Rambo, you will have left him on a high note. Last Blood is more of a side story than part of the main story. If you choose to watch it, you won’t be too disappointed, but you won’t miss out on anything if you choose to skip it.