Rambo (Franchise)

5 – Rambo III; Instead of portraying John Rambo as a man struggling with his PTSD, Rambo’s third installment of the franchise decides to portray him as a Christ-like figure, absolutely perfect and incapable of pain. Not only physical but emotional as well. No amount of mindless action can save this movie from being a cash grab, and a cliché one at that. Cinemaster Score: 4/10

4 – Rambo: Last Blood; After just over a decade of hiatus, the Rambo franchise made yet another attempt at reviving itself. Rambo: Last Blood, in hindsight, was an enjoyable watch. That is, in the sense that its violence was satisfyingly gruesome. However, beyond that, the film is a critical flop and a major disappointment. It barely stands up against the greatness of it’s earlier predecessors and, therefore, won’t likely stand the test of time. Sylvester Stallone is the only bit of true charm in the franchise’s fifth installment. Franchise fatigue has clearly set in and the conclusion was unnecessary. The story is filled with clichés and an overly generic use of the Mexican drug cartel. At the end of the day, Rambo: Last Blood is another sad reminder that the franchise should have been left as an iconic stand-alone flick. Cinemaster Score: 4.5/10

3 – Rambo: First Blood Part II; First Blood part 2 is a good movie. The problem is just that though, its ONLY good. While it does define Rambo as the guns blazing warrior most see him as, that’s about all it does – which isn’t necessarily a good thing. The movie really surmounts to no change by the end. Between taking away Rambo’s pure heart from the original and adding useless romance, First Blood’s sequel is inferior and becomes just another clumsy action movie. At least it gives the illusion of purpose though. Cinemaster Score: 7/10

2 – Rambo (2008); Rambo is a beautiful revival of a dying franchise. It brings back Johnny’s humanity from the first film perfectly. Sylvester Stallone has an amazing performance as the man now older but still broken. The action is incredible and the wounds are realistic. Rambo is not only great compared to the other movies in its series but is a poster child of how cinematography should look in most action movies. Cinemaster Score: 8.5/10

1 – First Blood; First Blood is one of the finest action movies ever made. You won’t find 100’s of dead bodies in this movie or corny one-liners, but instead a reflective film on the trauma of war and the lack of understanding many of us have for it. This film doesn’t try to have the best set pieces or stunts, but instead shows us the ignorance of humanity. It puts us into the life of a man tormented by his past and shows us what he is willing to do when pushed to his brink. Cinemaster Score: 9/10


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