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Wick's Review

Created Oct 20, 2019 04:20AM PST • Edited Mar 05, 2020 06:44PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Great 4.0

    Has there ever been a better franchise star than Sylvester Stallone? His multi-sequel characters – Rocky, Rambo, and Barney of The Expendables – have become treasured cinematic friends over the decades. The second one has his story brought to a well-crafted and satisfying conclusion in Last Blood, aka Rambo V.

    Stallone aged Rocky well in the recent Creed offshoots. He does the same here with John Rambo, while also credibly maintaining his essence. Well, “credibly” by the highly surreal Rambo standard. Thus John’s salt-of-the-earth persona morphs into Rambo’s Hulk-like fury and power when faced with terrible injustice.

    Last Blood has a spare, Western vibe, even as it deftly harks back to the samurai elements of First Blood. Boobytraps and blades loom large. Many cinematic promises are made and kept, surrealism be damned.

    Last Blood’s last blood recalls Apocalypto. Rambo goes all Aztec on the kingping bad guy. Perfect, in a Rambo kind of way. Figures that director Adrian Grunberg also worked on Mad Mel’s Mayan snuff film.

  3. Great 4.0

    Sylvester Stallone can act, in paramilitary fever dream scenes where he’s the GOAT, and in the quiet and tender scenes. His nonpareil stardom depends on being someone we like and who we believe loves others.

    3 Strong Women
    • Adriana Barraza humanizes things as John’s housekeeper and mother hen to his adopted niece.
    • Yvette Monreal sweetly plays said niece.
    • Paz Vega brings her native Spanish gravitas as a crusading Mexican journalist.
  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Very Good 3.5
  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5
  7. Male Costars Good 3.0
  8. Very Good 3.5
  9. Direction Great 4.0
  10. Play Very Good 3.5
  11. Music Good 3.0
  12. Visuals Great 4.0
  13. Content
  14. Sordid 3.3

    This is Rambo V, fifth in a series that pushed the action movie genre deep into savage violence.
    OTOH, it is a resolutely chaste movie, notwithstanding a key subplot involving a slave brothel in Mexico.

  15. Sex Titillating 1.6
  16. Violence Savage 4.5
  17. Rudeness Nasty 3.7
  18. Surreal 2.9

    This is Rambo V, fifth in a series that pushed the action movie genre deep into surrealism.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 3.0
  20. Biological Supernatural 3.1
  21. Physical Surreal 2.6


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