Rambo: Last Blood was in the news last week for a bunch of reasons that the people behind the film probably didn't want. The story has come under fire from many critics and the synopsis of an earlier version of the film unearthed by Splash Report is making some wonder what could have been. This proposed narrative sounds like a marked improvement over the release version of Last Blood.
A lot of the characters were re-worked over time. This earlier version of the film still depends on a friend's daughter getting abducted and the world-weary soldier going on a rescue mission. But, his ally Carmen also had a loved one go missing at the hands of the Cartel. This common bond forges them together rather than job obligations. The ending is very different as well, with a more gruesome finisher for the film's big bad.
But for the version of this film that actually exists, critics are still taking the fifth installment in the Rambo franchise to task. Rotten Tomatoes has Last Blood sitting at a 28% Tomatometer critical score at the time of writing. Many of the reviewers took issue with the film's violence and the overall narrative structure. Maybe some of the changes above to Rambo's motivation could have yielded more positive responses?
All the negative press hasn't stopped series star Sylvester Stallone from firing back at the film's detractors on social media. He had time to address the haters on Instagram last week directly. Stallone's video post asked critics if they could "handle Rambo?" The footage then cuts to some British audiences objecting to the violence and lumping the movie in with other American action fare. Then, giving the people what they came there for with some of slickly edited action from parts of Last Blood.
For the record, the people are loving it, adding yet another case where the review aggregation sites are showing off a disconnect between critics and fans. Last Blood's audience score on Rotten Tomatoes is all the way up at 85 percent. Violence clearly isn't a problem for these viewers, and other reviewers are responding to the backlash by accusing other outlets of injecting "liberal" bias into their coverage.
Rambo creator and author David Morrell was not a fan of this latest movie in the Rambo franchise. Morrell wrote the 1972 novel First Blood from which the 1982 film of the same name was adapted. He shared his reaction to Last Blood last week on Twitter. The creator noted that he was embarrassed to be associated with the latest film in the series.
"I agree with these RAMBO: LAST BLOOD reviews," Morrell said. "The film is a mess. Embarrassed to have my name associated with it."
"I felt degraded and dehumanized after I left the theater," Morrell continued. "Instead of being soulful, this new movie lacks one. I felt like I was less a human being for having seen it, and today that's an unfortunate message."
Rambo: Last Blood is directed by Adrian Grunberg, stars Sylvester Stallone and co-stars Paz Vega, Yvette Monreal, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Joaquín Cosio, Adriana Barraza, Louis Mandylor, and Óscar Jaenada.
Rambo: Last Blood is now playing in theaters.
H/t ScreenRant for the script details.