Dec 252019
 

Rambo: Last Blood might not have the same feel compared with the others in the series, but I still found this to be a compelling action-thriller and another good performance from Sylvester Stallone.

 

 

Rambo: Last Blood
(2019)

Genre(s): Action, Suspense/Thriller
Lionsgate | R – 89 min. – $42.99 | December 17, 2019

Date Published: 12/25/2019 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Adrian Grünberg
Writer(s): David Morrell (character); Dan Gordon & Sylvester Stallone (story), Matthew Cirulnick & Sylvester Stallone (screenplay)
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Adriana Barraza, Yvette Monreal


DISC INFO:
Features: Featurettes, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2


Audio: (4K/BD) English (Dolby Atmos), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Video (BD): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C


Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures were taken from the Blu-ray disc and do not represent the 4K Ultra HD transfer.


THE MOVIE — 3.75/5


Plot Synopsis: Vietnam War veteran John Rambo (SYLVESTER STALLONE) tries to find some semblance of peace by raising horses on a ranch in Arizona. He’s also developed a special familial bond with a woman named Maria (ADRIANA BARRAZA) and her teenage granddaughter Gabriela (YVETTE MONREAL). But when a vicious Mexican cartel kidnaps Gabriela, Rambo crosses the border on a bloody and personal quest to rescue her and punish those responsible.

Review: For the most part, the Rambo franchise has been very enjoyable, with 1982’s First Blood easily being the best both in terms of writing and the performance from Sylvester Stallone whose Rambo gave an impassioned monologue at the end that was crushing and if not for Richard Crenna’s ham—fisted performance, it was a near perfect action-thriller. The follow-up, Rambo: First Blood Part 2 might’ve been a step down was still a fun action-romp though not nearly as memorable; Rambo III was easily the weakest in the series while Rambo (2008), which I first watched earlier this year, was surprisingly solid entertainment.

Now comes Rambo: Last Blood, clearly the conclusion to the longtime franchise and released 37 years later. I did like this entry quite a bit actually, but oddly it reminded me of Live Free or Die Hard as that film might’ve starred Bruce Willis, it never felt like it featured John McClane. Similarly, this does star Sylvester Stallone, never seemed to be playing John Rambo and outside of an aural hallucination early on, which never comes up again, just seemed to be a solid action film starring Stallone, not a bad thing at all as the dude, now 73 years old, still believably could kick ass and hasn’t slumped into a lazy career compared to someone like Steven Seagal who uses stunt doubles just walk up some stairs (not 100% positive, might’ve been Code of Honor, honestly all his terrible DTV films blend together). No real outstanding moments with Stallone’s performance, though he does get one speech fully embracing revenge so kind of refreshing as it seems nowadays the idea of revenge faux pas.

Plot wise, I do appreciate it’s nothing complicated and in one respect, a bit unpredictable. However, by the third act, Last Blood becomes Death Wish with explosions and gorier kills… and I’m okay with that. The finale of this film is, to put it lightly, insane. It’s a bit convoluted or at least convenient how the villain’s henchmen or dispatched yet he remains unharmed despite numerous booby traps, but it is satisfying considering what transpired.

Adrian Grünberg takes on directing duties for this fifth Rambo movie, only his second film following 2012’s Get the Gringo and a career mostly as a first assistant director on the likes of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Master and Commander and The Legend of Zorro and I suppose he did an adequate job on Last Blood, perhaps overly utilizing drone shots but keeps up the pacing for what was a solid action-thriller.

And that’s what Rambo: Last Blood boils down to: a fine entertaining (albeit with many uncomfortably dark situations involving sex trafficking) flick and a good way to end the series and features a respectable performance yet again from Sylvester Stallone even though this didn’t exactly have that “Rambo” feel.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.5/5


This release comes with a matted slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Drawing Last Blood Production Diary (50:20) is a five-part set of featurettes looking at the making of the movie and includes interviews (set over behind-the-scenes footage) by Stallone, Grünberg and others, exploring this final entry into the series.

From First Note to Last Blood: Music for the Massacres (17:22) — This featurette covers the score composed by Brian Tyler.

Theatrical Trailer (1:09)

 


4K VIDEO – 5.0/5, BD VIDEO — 4.5/5


Surprisingly, even though this is a darkly tone movie involving sex trafficking, Rambo: Last Blood has some decent pops of color amidst some of the darker lit scenes which were stark while the colors are aided by the HDR. Detail meanwhile was incredibly sharp and well defined on both formats but the 4K does get the edge, however you can’t go wrong with the Blu-ray transfer.

4K/BD AUDIO – 4.75/5


Both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray discs come with Dolby Atmos tracks and while I won’t say this was an incredible aural experience, there were moments of brilliance especially during the action-filled finale. Outside of that, dialogue levels still were crisp and clear coming from the front speaker with the surrounds composed mostly of ambient noises or Brian Tyler’s score, but like I mentioned, the third act certainly ramped things up to the next level and the LFE channel kicks on for that extra kick.

 


OVERALL – 3.75/5


Rambo: Last Blood might not have the same feel compared with the others in the series, but I still found this to be a compelling action-thriller and another good performance from Sylvester Stallone, though Paz Vega’s talents weren’t fully utilized. This 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray combo set does come with great video and audio transfers and while the features were limited, the “Production Diaries” docu-featurette was a nice addition.

 

 

 

The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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