Sylvester Stallone is know primarily for three things.
Firstly, he’s known for “Rocky”, the rags-to-riches movie that made him an overnight sensation.
Secondly, he’s known for “Judge Dredd”, and essentially ruining a classic comic book character.
Thirdly, he’s known for the “Rambo” movies, a series about a Vietnam war veteran with severe PTSD, who tries and utterly fails to adapt to modern civilian life.
“First Blood”, the original film in the series, hit the cultural zeitgeist at just the right time. This was probably less to do with the movie’s biting political commentary, and more because the ‘80s was a time of muscular men, explosions, and violent bloodsplatter, all of which the film had in spades.
Nevertheless, despite spawning a bunch of sequels when it was relatively new, the world of “Rambo” has been quiet for a long time. This feels a little weird – “Rocky” worked as an aging comeback story, so it’d be interesting to revisit another bygone cultural icon.
Especially considering that Rambo as a character is defined by his inability to fit neatly into the modern world. Surely this would be perfect for another film?
Stallone himself seems to think so. The director/actor will be making a fifth “Rambo” movie, and the premise actually sounds really interesting.
Wild West Rambo
“In the fifth episode of the franchise, when the daughter of one of his friends is kidnapped, Rambo, who has been working on a ranch, crosses the U.S.-Mexican border and quickly finds himself up against the full might of one of Mexico’s most violent cartels.”
Yeah, I’m pretty on board with the idea of a new “Rambo” film that’s basically a classic Wild West movie. It’s got a hostage, a bunch of outlaws, and a grizzled, aging protagonist who’s ready to either ride out into the sunset or go down in a blaze of glory.
I imagine that this would be “True Grit” or “Logan”, but with Sly Stallone. I’d happily watch that.
All this being said, I’m a little concerned about the central conflict. “Rambo” movies have always been deeply political, and I’m curious about why this movie would frame lawless Mexicans as the villains at this particular moment in history.
I’m hoping that this won’t be played in such a way as to make the film feel like a lecture on the need for that wall that a certain politician has been trying to build.
Something tells me, though, no matter which way the movie leans, a large chunk of the target audience are going to interpret the story however they want anyway.