Rambo: Last Blood ★½

I do like the fact that for the first time since basically the first movie, Rambo seems mentally unstable. He takes medication and he’s building elaborate tunnels under his house for no reason and he gets information from people by threatening to stab and shoot them. If this movie was about an unwell veteran who becomes consumed by paranoid delusions, that might be something.

Instead, all of Rambo’s most racist anxieties are proven to be 100 percent accurate. He warns his niece not to go to Mexico to look for her biological dad, and when she does she immediately becomes a sex trafficking victim. And then things get worse from there.

This is a very depressing end to one of the weirder franchises in history. Five movies, each set in a different place, each about a guy whose personality and motives frequently change from movie to movie. Some of the films are deeply ambivalent about violence and the government; others bask in blood and bullets and military power. There’s very little consistency, even though Stallone has remained at the center of all of it.

Also, how do you make a Rambo without a single headband?!? That’s like making a Rocky movie without a single boxing match. Inexcusable.