To parody Rambo’s iconic line in 2008’s Rambo: “This is who we are, this is what we do; live for the sequel or die for the reboot.”
Having successfully brought life back into his first iconic character, Rocky Balboa, with Creed and Creed 2, there was a slight sense of inevitability regarding the return of Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo. After a decade of inconsistent production news including retirement from the role and a TV series, Sylvester Stallone will officially return as John Rambo in Rambo V: Last Blood next year.
By occasionally publishing behind-the-scenes pictures or promotional imagery on his Instagram, Stallone has fueled anticipation over the new Rambo film, sparking the debate between fans as to whether it will be more like the original First Blood or the bloodshed extravagant sequels. Stallone’s “Insta pics” have established a lack of the iconic long hair, as well as dressing Rambo up as a Walker, Texas Ranger fan…
Looking to be set where Rambo (2008) left off, Rambo V depicts its titular character living on an Arizona ranch (despite production taking place in Bulgaria and Spain), clearly moved on from the action, until he is informed of a friend’s granddaughter going missing in Mexico. Being the good samaritan that he is, Rambo goes looking for the missing person, but finds himself in the midst of a sex trafficking setup. Aged around 70, can Rambo save the day again?
Having watched the Rambo character for over 30 years and knowing what the action-heavy sequels entail, Rambo V realistically shouldn’t be unpredictable – fans should expect the same routine as per the previous instalments, but adapt their imagination this time for what will most likely be the last time Stallone is seen as Rambo on the big screen, hence the subtitle of Last Blood.
Whether there is a place for Rambo V in contemporary action cinema is a different question altogether. Action films like Mad Max: Fury Road and the last three Mission: Impossible sequels have been overwhelmed in positive fandom, thus this is a good time for action cinema, however, both Fury Road and the recent Mission: Impossible sequels have championed spectacle action cinema, something of which Rambo V realistically cannot be. Nostalgia may have to take the reigns. Additionally, with depictions of foreigners as villains, accurate or inaccurate, this could see Rambo V be read as a racist film by default.
Back in 1982, a wildly heated John Rambo said, “Nothing is over! You just don’t turn it off.” With the upcoming release of Rambo V, the story of John Rambo isn’t over just yet.
Rambo V is expected to arrive Autumn 2019.