One of the action surprises of the year comes in the form of (reportedly) Rambo’s final ever movie outing – because it’s a more than watchable vengeance story.

It’s far better than Rambo III and 2008’s Rambo (the fourth film) for starters – and at least does what most fans of Sylvester Stallone’s iconic character would want.

Almost four decades after they drew first blood in the 1982 original, Vietnam War vet John Rambo (Stallone) looks to have finally put his demons to rest – eleven years after his ultra-violent escapades in Burma – and now manages his deceased father’s horse ranch in Arizona with his old friend Maria (Adriana Barraza) and her grand-daughter Gabriela (Yvette Monreal).

This leads to gory confrontations both sides of the border, climaxing in a final battle at Rambo’s ranch – which rather fortuitously houses tunnels and underground bunkers to enable multiple ‘booby traps’ – between just him and around thirty cartel mercenaries.

Which then provides some of the most inventive bloodthirsty killing in recent movie history to boot.

But even taking the death extravaganza finale out of the equation, this does have a bit of heart and emotion – despite being a generically ‘play it safe’ scripted revenge-fest.

Compared to other fifth instalments – like 2013’s A Good Day to Die Hard in which Bruce Willis looked like he couldn’t be bothered to be there – Stallone still looks like he has lot of passion for this character, and even though it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it does a little bit more than just becoming a ‘filler’ chapter pillaging his cult status.

And if this is his final bow as Rambo – then this drawing of last blood provides a satisfactory ending.

ESP Rating: 3/5

Gavin Miller

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Yvette Monreal, Sergo Peris-Mencheta, Paz Vega, Oscar Jaenada, Fenessa Pineda & Adriana Barraza

Running Time: 1 Hr 29 Mins

Director: Adrian Grunberg

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