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Last Blood – review of the film on RTL

The final adventure of John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) can be seen for the first time on free TV. Here you can find out whether it is worth switching on.


Rambo: Last Blood

Action • 08/22/2021• 10:30 pm

At the end of “John Rambo” (2008), the title character returns home after decades in exile. You can see him walking the long way to his father’s old farm. It would have been a worthy end to the character because the circle would have come full with the aimless wandering at the beginning of “Rambo” in 1982. But Sylvester Stallone’s fingers itched again: The result was the film “Rambo: Last Blood” (2019), which RTL is showing for the first time on free TV. On the one hand, maybe because Stallone wanted to give the character a nice finish, on the other hand, certainly because the now 75-year-old drives best with the return to his roots, like the success of the “Creed” films with his boxer character Rocky Balboa has shown.

Yet one would have wished Stallone could have resisted this impulse. Or to be able to find a story that is worth telling and does not seem like an infusion of “96 Hours -Taken” in which Liam Neeson sets out to free his daughter from the clutches of human traffickers.


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John Rambo has lived on his parents’ farm for a good decade. His housekeeper Maria (Maria Beltran) is something like a family, her granddaughter Gabrielle (Yvette Monreal) almost like a daughter to him. He has found his peace – at least in a few quiet moments. In others, the past leaves him, Vietnam does not let him go. Rambo has withdrawn from the world and provided his property with an elaborate tunnel system.

Gabrielle wants to go to Mexico to speak to her father, who left the family many years ago. She wants answers and no longer waiting for them, even if Maria and Rambo implore her not to go there because what she will find will not make her happier. But Gabrielle does it anyway and disappears – kidnapped by unscrupulous girl traffickers. When Rambo learns that she has disappeared, he sets off for Mexico. He knows about the evil in the world and he will do everything to keep Gabrielle from falling victim to him. It may be the last war John Rambo goes to.

John Rambo unleashes what he kept under wraps for years. Gabrielle once said to him that he had changed after all. But Rambo says no. He has not changed, just kept under lock and key every day what is rumbling inside him.

“Last Blood” is not a “Rocky Balboa”

Apart from the first part, these films are rather simple and designed for the highest level of action. There is action in “Rambo: Last Blood” too, but the film tries to create some form of added value by putting a bit of focus on Rambo’s trauma. That is actually the right approach. You could have taken the character back to the beginning, like Stallone did with “Rocky Balboa”, which comes closest to the first part, “Rocky”. Here, however, it only seems like lip service – more asserted than credible, since John Rambo’s internal war is at best touched on, but not made an essential part of the story. It moves with brisk steps on a terrain that does not fit the “Rambo” theme.

Mexico is drawn dark and dirty, as director Adam Grünberg did in his Mel Gibson film “Get the Gringo”. The finale then offers action in the best Rambo manner, with sophisticated but convincing traps that of course work particularly well within the tunnel system. And yet you have the feeling that Sylvester Stallone’s best days are over a few years. Because you are very careful not to ask too much physically of the old warrior.

At the end there is a montage of all previous “Rambo” films, but the background music to the song “It’s A Long Road” associated with this character is sorely missed. If you had hoped to get a film with “Rambo: Last Blood” that would have the same effect as the Wolverine swan song “Logan”, the end result was the disillusionment that John Rambo’s story should have ended in 2008.

Rambo: Last Blood – Sun. 08/22 – RTL: 10.30 p.m.

Source: teleschau – the mediendienst GmbH



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