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With franchisereboots, it’s almost a guarantee that not everyone will be pleased. Etchedin the minds of fans as untouchable, certain movies and characters should beleft alone, or, at the very least, done right. Rambois back in theaters with its original star, SylvesterStallone, but apparently, not even he is enough to sway naysayers.
‘Last Blood’ a mess to ‘Rambo’ creator
Nay says the author of Rambo, David Morell, who shared his thoughtson Twitter about the latest film. The origins of the Rambo character began withMorell, whose novel, First Blood, was published in 1972.
It serves as the basis of the debut film that saw Stallonebring the character to life on the big screen. He’s not a fan of the new Rambo.
Morrell told Newsweekthat he initially was tapped to consult with Stallone for the film while it wasbeing written. They spoke over the phone a few times, and Morrell was under theimpression this version of Rambo would be “soulful” with its missing childstoryline.
Instead he was left disappointed after seeing Rambo: LastBlood, telling the outlet:
“I felt degraded and dehumanized after I left the theater. Instead of being soulful, this new movie lacks one. I felt I was less a human being for having seen it, and today that’s an unfortunate message.”
Ouch. He went on to note similarities in style and lack ofcharacter development between this movie and a 1976 film called Trackdown.
“That film is typical of ultra-violent 1970s exploitation ‘grindhouse’ films, the technique of which ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ resembles. The sets here look cheap. The direction is awkward.”
“Rambo could be called John Smith, and the film wouldn’t change. It assumes the audience is familiar with Rambo’s background, whereas anyone under 40 will wonder what on Earth is going on with those tunnels.”
Morrell has worked on ‘Rambo’ movies in the past
The author has written more than two dozen novels with FirstBlood marking his debut. Although his other works are not related to thenameless character who became Rambo on film, Morrell has worked extensively withthe franchise that spawned five installments.
He spoke to DigitalSpy last year about the character’s arc through the first four films, andhow sometimes books don’t always translate well for cinema, but Rambo worked.
He said the sequels deviated greatly from the books but he’sgrateful for how he was treated during the movie-making process.
“But that’s when the Rambo phenomenon really took off – at the start of Rambo 2 … So in 2 and 3, he’s a different character from the [first] movie, and he’s a different character from my novel. And then in 4, he’s different again.
I feel I’ve been treated pretty well. I’ve got no reason to be embarrassed with ‘First Blood’.”
Why so many critics don’t like ‘Last Blood’
Morrell isn’t the only one with harsh words for the Rambo: Last Blood sequel. It currently holds a Rotten Tomatoes score of 32%, with critics saying it’s “a piece of excrement,” “generic,” “depressing,” and “no fun.”
ScreenRant rated it a 1.5 on the site, writing “Last Blood is an exercise in excessively gory violence and dubious political action moviemaking that adds little of value to the Rambo property.”
David Fearof RollingStone also panned the movie for its shaky plot and stereotypes:
“As for the usual jingoistic chest-thumping,that’s saved for a climactic voiceover. But ‘Last Blood‘s basic takeaway —that heroes wear white hats and bad guys have brown skin — will be trumpetedthroughout the whole bloody affair, from beginning to things-go-boom end. Thisis apparently what a Rambo movie circa 2019 now means. The man-vs.-cartelaction you crave will be smothered in irresponsible fearmongering.”
Everyday audiencemembers have more favorable reviews of the film, and online, you’ll see it’sbeen rated between 80% and 94%.
Stallone,who is now 73, could be hanging up his Rambo bandana for good this time, butwho knows? One thing is certain and that’s the fact that fans will ultimatelymake up their own minds on the luster of Rambo: Last Blood. Nostalgiahas its benefits.
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