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I wanted to like this movie. I really do. Being a big Rambo fan since the first movie, I was really looking forward for this one. To say disappointed would be an understatement.
The movie tries to be a more hardcore version of Taken: a parental figure goes after a young girl who got kidnapped by a criminal syndicate to be sold into a sex trafficking ring. The movie plays a twist on this by actually having the girl died and the entire story as a Shoot the Shaggy Dog, but how it happened is so unbelievably convoluted just to make a statement about how bad things are in the dark side of Mexico. I have no problems if the movie wants to give a message, but if it ends up creating Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy, then why should I even care? Even Rambo cannot change anything, right?
Granted, previous Rambo films don't shy away from violence, but at least he actually achieved something in them. In previous films, the things Rambo did actually have some positive effects: he gave himself up to authorities and didn't get himself killed in the first one, he saved the PO Ws and his friend in the second and the third, and he saved some of the missionaries and helped the Karen rebels won against a tyrannical warlord in the fourth movie. What did Rambo achieve in this movie? Nothing. His surrogate daughter is killed, and he didn't actually stop the trafficking ring, only a small part of it, meaning that a lot of girls still shared Gabrielle's fate that Rambo could do nothing to stop. Hell, the girls Rambo "saved" at that brothel he raided didn't actually go anywhere, and would probably still remain trapped in the hellish sex business while Rambo only tried to Gabrielle, which failed anyway.
I understand that the point of those Rambo films is to present how cruel the world can be and sometimes it seem like we can't change anything and Violence Is the Only Option, but the message is already hammered home time and time again in previous films. We get that already. I'll give the actors in the film credit, though Sylvester Stallone still acts the role of a shellshocked, tormented, vengeful war vet perfectly, and other actors and actresses give pretty good performances as well.
To sum up, it could be a decent action film if you're there to watch just that. As a Rambo fan, I'm not satisfied, and to be really honest, I kinda wish the series should've ended in the previous film.
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