Mixed reviews land for 'deranged' Rambo: Last Blood

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Sylvester Stallone in Rambo: Last Blood (Credit: Lionsgate)

Rambo: Last Blood, Sylvester Stallone's swan song as John Rambo, the traumatised Vietnam veteran with a tendency towards outbursts of ultra-violence, has arrived.

But it could be that this latest instalment has proved a bridge too far for some critics.

Rambo: Last Blood finds Sly’s tortured hero picking up his crossbows for a final, staggeringly violent dust-up, this time with a dangerous Mexican drug cartel, after his niece is taken hostage.

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The reviews are now in, but sadly they're somewhat thin on compliments.

“In 2019's hypersensitive cultural environment, the depiction of murderous Mexican crime bosses and their cowering sex slaves encountering a literal white saviour doesn't go down so easy,” writes Indiewire, describing the movie as 'a tiresome slog'.

(Credit: Lionsgate)

The Hollywood Reporter notes: “Dirty Harry got a more dignified farewell in The Dead Pool, and that movie featured a chase involving a toy car.

“The bad guys don't suffer pratfalls, but rather various forms of bodily mutilation and destruction that definitely earn the film's R rating. The way they keep pursuing Rambo through the tunnels as the body count rises instead of beating a strategic retreat is unintentionally comical. The conclusion to the carnage proves that when Rambo promises to rip someone's heart out, you can take him at his word.”

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Forbes calls it 'an unworthy sequel', adding that: “It's less a true Rambo movie and more a generic (and small-scale) Taken knock-off with John Rambo arbitrarily thrown into the mix.”

(Credit: Lionsgate)

Adds IGN: “If you've come for thoughtfulness, tragedy, character, wit, and a political statement on the effects of war - in short, if you've come for anything that was in the original First Blood - then perhaps you'd find solace in a different theater.”

There is the odd glimmer of hope. Uproxx calls it 'a deranged must-see', but the movie appears largely to have fallen short.

It comes 11 years after its predecessor, the stunningly violent Rambo (one critic called it 'the most violent movie I have ever seen'), which received similarly mixed notices.

Rambo: Last Blood lands in the UK today, where it was not screened for press.