John Rambo sets out on his final mission in the teaser trailer and poster for the upcoming sequel, Rambo: Last Blood. Inspired by David Morrell's 1972 novel First Blood, the Rambo movies kicked off in 1982, with Sylvester Stallone starring as the psychologically damaged Vietnam war veteran and ex-special forces soldier, John Rambo. Stallone thereafter reprised his role in a part of followups released in the '80s, followed by the belated sequel Rambo in 2008. And although that installment was originally meant to serve as Stallone's swan-song on the series, he's coming back for one last, last time in this year's aptly-named Last Blood.
Written by Stallone and Matthew Cirulnick (Absentia), and directed by Adrian Grunberg (Get the Gringo), Last Blood follows Rambo as he battles a Mexican cartel that's kidnapped a friend's daughter. The film went through some major changes over the course of its development and even pitted Rambo against a vicious monster (yes, really) at one point, before the Rambo vs. cartel storyline was locked into place. Stallone's been doing his part to promote the movie by releasing official images online in recent months, but it's now received a trailer and one-sheet to boot.
Lionsgate released the Rambo: Last Blood teaser trailer and poster online today, ahead of the promo's debut in theaters this weekend. You can check them out in the space below.
Judging by the trailer, Last Blood will very much have the look and feel of a neo-western, between its desert color palette and settings (which are "played" by locations like Bulgaria, Louisiana, and the Canary Islands). Stallone has likened the movie to being a Rambo-fied version of No Country for Old Men in years past, and the teaser gives off a similar impression, between its moody atmosphere and glimpses of the bloody violence to come. As for the subject matter: Stallone recently claimed the Rambo films were never meant to be a political statement, the latest installment included. Nevertheless, it's difficult to imagine many right-wingers won't interpret Last Blood as an endorsement of U.S. president Donald Trump's demands for a wall along the Mexican border, Stallone's actual intentions aside.
Still, from a storytelling perspective, Rambo: Last Blood promises to provide an appropriately dramatic send-off to both the Rambo character and Stallone's time playing him (which has spanned nearly forty years). As such, it should be able to attract a number of longtime Rambo fans when it arrives, regardless of the film's larger critical reception... though, for sure, good reviews wouldn't hurt its prospects. The sequel will have some direct opening weekend competition from James Gray and Brad Pitt's sci-fi drama Ad Astra (which is also targeting older audiences), so we'll have to wait and see if Rambo fares better or worse in his final box office battle than his last hurrah onscreen.
- Rambo 5: Last Blood (2019) release date: Sep 20, 2019