If you look at the script of the new Rambo movie Rambo: Last Blood, the feel is somewhat generic. But why I found this movie interesting was with the way it sort of gave focus to the vulnerable side of the man who has lived the life of a killing machine. Rambo: Last Blood may not be an equivalent to something like a Logan in terms of quality, but it is a movie that tries to get into a similar zone and thus there is a little bit of an emotional connect happening here despite the script being predictable.
John Rambo is now in Arizona with an old friend named Maria and her granddaughter Gabrielle. Gabrielle’s father left her and her mother and she always wanted to know why he did that. At one point she asks John for permission to go and see her father who is in Mexico and John denies permission. But her decision to go there despite the possible troubles is where the movie shifts its tone. What happens to Gabrielle and how John tries to rescue her from the mess is what Rambo: Last Blood dealing with.
I don’t really have vivid memories of watching Rambo. Growing up, it was actually the action that captivated me. But Rambo movies were not just about action. It dealt with the psychological pressure the character went through. He had emotional outbursts and breakdowns in the movies and in Last Blood, he is that wise uncle in the family who is no longer screaming. In one scene when Gabrielle talks about the change in him, he defends it by saying he hasn’t changed, it’s only that he now has a little bit of control over it. Last Blood comes from the perspective of looking at John as a poor soul who had to live a life full of paranoia. He tells Gabrielle that had he this dream to be a part of the army even at a very young age. And when he finally sits down at the sit-out of his house in the climax, you can somewhere sense a little bit of despair.
Get the Gringo fame Adrian Grunberg has directed this movie based on the screenplay by Sylvester Stallone and Matt Cirulnick. As I said, there is no unpredictability to the credit of the script here. But Grunberg manages to capture the mental space of John. John has this feeling that he has not really enjoyed his life and he wants to be a cool figure rather than a control freak. John Rambo might well be killing all the bad guys, but there is terrible loneliness that awaits him at every point. The insanely brutal climax showdown where our hero literally takes out someone’s heart is a treat to watch if you are a fan of well-captured violence. The cinematography was nice while the cuts in the initial action bits kind of made things unclear.
Sylvester Stallone’s portrayal of the aged John Rambo will somewhere remind you of the way he portrayed the aged version of Rocky Balboa. The notable difference is that here he isn’t giving too much of profound thoughts like Balboa. Stallone carries the pain and the swagger of Rambo effectively. Yvette Monreal as Gazelle was fine. Paz Vega as journalist Carmen Delgado is the other major character here. One problem people can say about the film is that it is way too much about Rambo that we don’t even really care about the conventional antagonists.
Rambo: Last Blood sort of sympathizes with John Rambo. It shows how his life changed, how his past haunts him and how life repeatedly puts him in that lonely zone. On a story level, you can call it as a routine one man show heroism, but with the pacing of the movie, Grunberg manages to make us think about the main guy and his emotional space.
On a story level, you can call it as a routine one man show heroism, but with the pacing of the movie, Grunberg manages to make us think about the main guy and his emotional space.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended