30 September 2019

Making Rambo Crap Again

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Podcasts
In First Blood, Sylvester Stallone gave us one of cinema’s most relatable characters with John Rambo. He was an aimless man who decided that he was feeling a bit peckish. When denied a sandwich by a town’s local authorities, he understandably went berserk and fucking battered them all. If I'm in work and lunch is delayed by as much as five minutes then I start to think about dousing the place in petrol and burning it to the fucking ground. Obviously I didn't fight in Vietnam the way Rambo did although I did once engage in some pretty heavy haggling in a Turkish market. I guess it's probably not the same thing though. He came back with PTSD whereas all I managed to bag was a pretty nifty fez. And look, I know it's easy to make fun of how Stallone might talk but we really shouldn't joke about it. Stallone's mumbling is a result of an actual accident in which he was pulled into this world during his birth with so much force that he was left permanently damaged. This is understandable too when you remember that his mother is Jackie Stallone. If my first experience of life involved a journey through her vagina then I reckon I'd probably end up being yanked out by the fucking face too. But First Blood ends with his broken ex-Green Beret in tears and screaming about the horrors that he endured as a result of that war and it's genuinely heartbreaking. Well.. I assume that's what he was getting upset about, anyway. Obviously I couldn't understand a fucking word of it

The real tragedy of John Rambo however is that in that final scene of First Blood he unfortunately decided against blowing his own fucking brains out. What's the worst that would have happened if he'd tried? He might miss? He was supposed to be a crack shot! But that first movie is incredible and not only would that have been a better ending but it would have prevented all of the inferior sequels that have tainted the character’s reputation. I thought that the previous entry, Rambo, was bad in which the ageing veteran had somehow found a place in the jungle in which he'd clearly received botox injections. But this newest instalment, Rambo: Last Blood, is such an abysmal piece of shit that by the time it had concluded I felt like I knew how the character had felt when screaming in agony at the end of the first film. For a start Stallone no longer seems to be playing Rambo at all, with this film having almost nothing in common with the four that have gone before. As far as I can tell the character is defined by his longish hair, bandana, trauma, and the fact that he kills people in the jungle. But in this new film his mental anguish is barely touched upon, there's no bandana, the hair has been cut short, and it all takes place in America and Mexico. It's essentially just another generic geriatric actioner and if you changed the name of Rambo to literally anything else then you could easily cast Liam Neeson instead without a single script change. You'd probably get a more interesting press tour from Neeson too in which he casually drops anecdotes about all of the various Mexicans that he's thought about killing in the past. Probably. 

This film actually begins with Rambo's surrogate daughter telling him that she wants to go and meet her biological father who she's discovered is living in Mexico. But when she says the word “Mexico” the entire cast of characters around her react as though what she's actually said was fucking “Mordor”. Rambo: Last Blood is one of the most racist movies that I've seen in recent years with virtually every character of latino origin depicted as being pure scum. Even Mexico itself is shown to be full of nothing more than thieves, rapists, drug addicts, and kidnappers. This is a film that feels specifically made for Trump’s America and as it gets more and more offensive you could almost smell the dicks of all the fat little racists in the audience getting harder. When Rambo then begins his Mexican killing spree, it's as though the film was made to give those racists a kick in which their chubby little boners begin to spaff up like a popped fucking spot. I guess I haven't explained why Rambo begins killing Mexicans and so lets just say that his surrogate daughter’s trip to her biological father doesn't go so well for her. Do you know what fridging is? It's essentially an act in which a female character is killed, raped, hurt, or in someway dis-powered by the villain for the sole narrative purpose of providing the hero with his motivation. I don't want to give too much away but it's so obvious that the young girl in this movie exists just to be fridged that she may as well be walking around with the word 'Smeg' branded onto her fucking forehead. 

I actually rewatched First Blood before coming to this one and it occurred to me that the main reason that it was so good was because of all of the physical stunts that we could see Stallone doing himself. You can almost see the direct line from First Blood to John Wick too in which a relatively simple set-up becomes the catalyst for some batshit on screen action. The problem is that Stallone is about ninety-four or something now and there's not a chance that he could do even half of that shit anymore. In First Blood Stallone broke his actual rib during the scene in which Rambo jumps from a cliff and lands in some trees. In Last Blood there's a pretty good chance that Stallone would break his hip from simply falling down the fucking stairs. Of course I love Stallone as much as everybody else but he's now at an age in which his biggest worry isn't the Vietcong but simply whether or not he'll survive the cold of Winter. As a result this movie compensates the lack of real action by replacing it with some pretty fucking hardcore violence. At the start of the movie Rambo tells his surrogate daughter that her and her friends can explore his personal tunnel. Despite sounding like the kind of thing that John Travolta might say to a masseuse in regards to his own anus, Rambo means that statement quite literally. For some reason he's dug a load of tunnels under his own house and it's never quite explained why. Maybe Rambo really was born from the ground as his Orc-ish face might suggest or perhaps he's simply turned mad over the years and taken to killing fucking moles. Either way, it's pretty obvious from this one line of dialogue that we can probably guess where the final act is going to fucking take place.

To describe the final fifteen minutes of this movie as an orgy of gore wouldn't quite be right, though. In terms of violence I guess that description fits, but where an orgy is concerned, you'd probably hope that at least a couple of people are having a good time. Instead, the movie ends with a literal montage of bad guys exploring the tunnel's and falling for Rambo's Home Alone-style traps as though the bad guy from Saw had bought a house from Peter fucking Rabbit. Earlier on in the movie Rambo gets his face kicked in which causes it to swell and need stitches. He then grabs a hammer and goes after the people that did it in a scene that was as though Boris Karloff had decided to remake fucking Oldboy. Rambo seems to have become so insanely blood thirsty over the years that this movie felt like a horror movie villain had been given the chance to direct their own biopic. Imagine if Jason Voorhees had decided to tell the story of his adult life but in the style of a late 80's Dolph Lundgren film and you're not far off from what this is. But there's no sense of fun or wit to the violence, as there might be in a John Wick movie. Instead, Last Blood plays out like a serial killer that's channel flicking between snuff movies to the point that it became an unintentional spoof of itself. I guess that the title Rambo: Last Blood is some indication that it will be the final film in the series. For the sake of the series I suggest that we all pretend to be as brain-damaged as the main character clearly is and forget that all of the films after the first one actually fucking happened. Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time.

No comments :

Post a Comment