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.
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'.
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.”
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.