The ultimate action hero John Rambo is back, and this time, it continues to be personal. Returning to our screens after the poorly received Rambo 11 years ago, Rambo: Last Blood has now been seen by a handful of critics and the reactions are...Disappointingly negative.
After the successful resurrection of his other cinematic icon, Rocky, Sylvester Stallone's return to Rambo being less-than-great will hurt some fans worse than a machete to the head. Critic Mike Ryan at Uproxx has taken umbrage with the film's complete lack of fun, and it's emphasis on some largely controversial, ill-natured themes.
"Rambo: Last Blood ... like, why? Why not make one last fun Rambo action movie? No, instead we get Rambo's young niece being kidnapped, drugged, tortured and raped by a cartel. Who is this for?"
Katie Walsh, critic over at LA Times Movies, was particularly harsh on the film, calling it the worst movie of the year.
"I have seen the worst movie of the year and it is Rambo: Last Blood. All worst movie contenders have to go through Rambo: Last Blood to vie for the prize."
Reading between the lines, it doesn't sound like she enjoyed it very much. Someone who did enjoy the film though is Stallone's old-friend and fellow behemoth Arnold Schwarzenegger, who wished his pal luck with the film's release this weekend.
"Good luck with Rambo this weekend, @TheSlyStallone. I loved it, and when it's a hit I'm going to buy you a new knife to celebrate."
Finally, Paul Shirey from JoBlo offered some much needed perspective in this trying time, reminding us all that aside from Rambo's debut, First Blood, none of the films in the franchise have received much critical acclaim.
"Guys, don't get down over bad critic reviews for Rambo sequels. First Blood was always the only one that got good reception critically and yet the sequels created a phenomenon. Last Blood was never gonna get universal praise. So, don't worry about it. Just go if you want to go."
Following the trailers and TV spots for the film, there had been an air of cautious optimism surrounding this final adventure of John Rambo, but alas, it sounds like the character should have hung up his crossbow, sat back, and just enjoyed his retirement.
Rambo: Last Blood comes from director Adrian Grunberr, with a story based on a screenplay by Matthew Cirulnick and Sylvester Stallone. Stallone is of course returning, alongside Paz Vega, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Adrianna Barraza, Yvette Monreal, Genie Kim aka Yenah Han, Joaquin Cosio, and Oscar Jaenada. Check out the film's official synopsis below.
"Almost four decades after he drew first blood, Sylvester Stallone is back as one of the greatest action heroes of all time, John Rambo. Now, Rambo must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission. A deadly journey of vengeance, Rambo: Last Blood marks the last chapter of the legendary series."
You can pass judgement yourself when Rambo: Last Blood hits theaters on September 20th. Before then you can check out some more early reactions to Lionsgate's latest release below.