"Reel Reviews: ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ continues sad story of John Rambo" by: Jessica Shepard

   The final chapter in John Rambo’s blood-soaked saga gives a lethal dose of revenge and predictable Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder behaviors to end the series.
   The film is rated R for strong graphic violence, grisly images, drug use and language.
   Last Blood is based on the character John Rambo created by author David Morrell for his novel First Blood.
   The story follows the titular Vietnam War veteran (reprised by Sylvester Stallone) as he travels to Mexico to save his adopted daughter, who has been kidnapped by a Mexican cartel and forced into prostitution.
   A sequel to Rambo (2008), it is the fifth installment in the Rambo franchise and co-stars Paz Vega, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Adriana Barraza, Yvette Monreal, Fenessa Pineda, Marco de la O, Genie Kim, Joaquín Cosío, and Oscar Jaenada.
   Eleven years after the events in Burma, Vietnam War veteran John Rambo lives in Arizona on his deceased father’s horse ranch, which he manages with his old friend, Maria Beltran (Barraza), and her granddaughter, Gabriela (Monreal).
   Gabriela reveals to Rambo that a friend of hers, Gizelle (Pineda), has found Gabriela’s biological father, Manuel, in Mexico.
   Against Rambo and Maria’s wishes, Gabriela secretly drives to Mexico to ask why Manuel had abandoned Gabriela and her mother years ago.
   Gizelle leads Gabriela to Manuel’s apartment, where he reveals to her that he never really cared for Gabriela or her mother.
   Gizelle takes a heartbroken Gabriela to a local club, where Gabriela is drugged and kidnapped by enforcers of a Mexican cartel.
   Meanwhile, Maria informs Rambo of Gabriela’s disappearance to Mexico.
   Rambo travels to Mexico and interrogates both Manuel and Gizelle about Gabriela’s whereabouts.
   Rambo is reluctantly led by Gizelle to the club where Gabriela was last seen and confronts El Flaco, the man who last spoke with Gabriela.
   A mysterious woman, Carmen Delgado (Vega), tails Rambo as El Flaco leads him to Gabriela’s location.
   Rambo is immediately confronted, beaten and marked by the cartel, led by Hugo (Mencheta) and Victor Martinez (Jaenada).
   They take his driver’s license, revealing the ranch’s location, and a photo of Gabriela, whom Victor recognizes.
   The cartel vows to mistreat Gabriela further due to Rambo’s actions.
   Carmen takes Rambo back to her home where she cares for him until he fully recovers.
   Carmen reveals herself to be an independent journalist who has been investigating the Martinez brothers, the kidnappers and murderers of her sister.
   Rambo later raids one of the brothels, killing several men until he finds a drugged Gabriela.
   On the way back home, Rambo thanks Gabriela for giving him hope for 10 years before she dies from the forced overdose.
   Gabriela’s death is a catalyst to awaken the dormant, vengeful part of Rambo that he’s had trouble keeping a lid on all these years.
   Rambo sets his sights on the cartel and is a nonstop force to be reckoned with, even in his old age.
   Overall, it’s a decent end to the Rambo movie franchise, but, definitely not for the faint of heart.

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