Rambo: Last Blood — a Movie for Dads and Sons? by John Zmirak

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By John Zmirak, a Senior Editor, The Stream, September 22, 2019

Goaded by reports that critics were savaging the movie as Neanderthal, xenophobic, Trump-affiliated garbage, to the point of publishing spoilers about the ending, I decided to go support the new Sylvester Stallone movie, Rambo: Last Blood. And I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I enjoyed it thoroughly. Can I recommend it, however? Did I like it for good reasons or bad ones?

The movie is part of a franchise built on bloody, vigilante revenge. That’s not as redemptive as the last two films I recommended here. (Brian Banks, an uplifting story of a young black man falsely convicted of rape, and Peanut Butter Falcon, a delightful buddy movie which stars a young actor with Down Syndrome.) Let’s admit that right off the bat.

But you don’t always need an uplifting or heartwarming movie. Sometimes your heart, battered by seeing so many evils on the news, craves a different medicine. And Stallone here offers a tincture which in safe doses, rightly applied, can serve a legitimate purpose.

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A quick synopsis: John Rambo, who suffered PTSD fighting in Vietnam (and has conducted bloody raids to rescue Americans both there and in Afghanistan) has retired in Arizona. He lives there on a ranch he runs with an elderly Latina friend (Maria Beltran), and her granddaughter (Gabrielle). Gabrielle’s mother has died, and her father abandoned the family, going back to Mexico. John and Gabrielle have a sweet, respectful father/daughter-style bond. Gabrielle just finished high school, and prepares to go off to college. John’s deeply proud of her, and glad that something good has emerged from his blood-soaked life.  ….

Read more at  stream.org