Rambo: Last Blood (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Rambo: Last Blood 4K ReviewRambo: Last Blood didn’t have to be made, but I’m so glad it was.  After hearing rumors all these years of how John Rambo would ultimately fight a super soldier, alien, etc. never in a million years did I ever think we’d get another one of these entries in this legendary action franchise.  Kaboom!  I was so wrong and I love surprises like this.  Rambo’s back, older than ever, and has blood on his mind, not to mention his hands, porch, rocking chair and well pretty much everywhere.   And unlike the previous three entries Rambo: Last Blood brings the fight back home to the States.  That’s right!  We go full circle to beginning where it all began with this bookend to First Blood.  Come on in and I’ll show you all around.

Rambo Last Blood 4K Review


Rambo: Last Blood is directed by Adrian Grunberg from a screenplay co-written by Sylvester Stallone.  It’s a sequel to the mighty 2008 feature, Rambo (4K review of it found HERE), and sequentially is the fifth installment in the franchise.  Last Blood features Stallone reprising his legendary role along with co-stars Paz Vega, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Adriana Barraza, Yvette Monreal, Genie Kim, Joaquín Cosío and Oscar Jaenada.  The story follows Rambo as he travels down to Mexico to save his sort of adopted daughter (really his niece I believe), who has been kidnapped and forced into prostitution.  One thing leads to another and eventually the fight comes back to America where Rambo truly gets his last blood (or is it?).  I tease that for a reason because we truly never know if Stallone will ever revisit this character.  Just like he did with Rocky Balboa Stallone surprised us with John Rambo too.  I’m game!  Take my money now!

I didn’t lie up above.  Plans for a fifth Rambo film have been in development hell off and on since 2008 with different ideas all over the place.  Ultimately I’m completely satisfied with where they took things here.  I would have hated to see this franchise tainted by a cheesy sci-fi premise, but I would have supported and saw it regardless.  Just like Rocky Balboa the titular character of John Rambo also means the world to me.  Literally speaking he’s an iconic symbol of hope and perseverance to me.  I was, however, very surprised to learn this wasn’t even shot anywhere near here.  Principal photography took place in both Bulgaria and Spain.  You fooled me!  Thankfully, the masterful score of Brian Tyler lives again in this fifth entry.  It’s like the 2008 entry and this one is brilliantly bridged here with the familiar score and masterful cues.

Last Blood is supposedly set up eleven years after the events in Burma in the 2008 film.  That must explain how he lost his long locks and now looks like his Rocky Balboa character, but I digress (it’s my only complaint ha ha).  John Rambo now resides in Arizona at his deceased Father’s horse ranch where we last saw him walking up the driveway there in the 2008 film.  Maria Beltran (Barraza) and her granddaughter, Gabriela (Monreal), live on this ranch too.  Gabriela should be focused on starting college soon, but supposedly she’s been looking for her father that left her when she was young.  She just wants answers.  I don’t know about you, but if I had John Rambo as a surrogate father, I’d be content.  I’m just saying.  So the search for her long lost father is what leads her down to Mexico where I think it’s safe to assume since this is a Rambo movie that everything goes awry.  It’s a simple plot, but I’m not going to spoil it for you.  Rambo’s kill scenes are worth the price of admission alone.

What makes Last Blood fresh, relevant and still enticing to me is the fact that we’re out of the jungle here with John Rambo.  We’re fighting in some new surroundings complete with urban clothing and more.  It’s like a rear cover to the first film in the series, First Blood, where he brought a small town pretty much down to their knees.  That’s why I refer to Last Blood as a bookend in this series.  We have come full circle in what I believe to be the last chapter in this franchise, but I don’t want to bet my savings on that either.  I’ve counted Stallone out before and have been so wrong.  This guy is the master at his craft in making compelling reasons to reboot his historic franchises.  I can do more, Sly.  I can do more.  Bring it!

Sadly Rambo: Last Blood opened this past September to negative reviews.  Critics didn’t like the script the graphic violence and they said it was racist with how it portrayed Mexico.  Have they not seen Sicario?  I don’t understand the latter.  It’s a Rambo movie for crying out loud.  This world we live in today is way too sensitive.  Anyway, despite the negative reviews the film still had a strong theatrical performance.  That just goes to show you us moviegoers love our fictional war hero Rambo.  However, I digress.  We have some 4K disc vitals to cover now down below.

Rambo Last Blood 4K Review


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Lionsgate’s Rambo: Last Blood.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Dolby Vision: Yes
  • Clarity/Detail: Rambo: Last Blood arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc in native 4K and it looks great.  Supposedly Rambo: Last Blood was derived from a 5K source and finished with a 4K DI.  It’s nice seeing something look so cinematic with its very film-like presentation here.  Fine details are all around from stubble, wrinkles, pores and scars on actors to textures like denim in Stallone’s jean jacket or the chiseled cave walls under Rambo’s each estate.  They even make it feel like you’re down in Mexico with dirt and grime everywhere you look on buildings and walls.
  • Depth: There are many great examples of how depth of field creates vast shots here like the farm landscapes, Mexican streets and rooftops, cave tunnels and more.  Perhaps one of my most favorite scenes involves Rambo and Gabriela riding horses as they pop in the foreground against the faded green landscape background.
  • Black Levels: Black levels are consistently dark and natural throughout.  HDR prevents the nighttime sequences from consuming the characters completely along with some unnatural lighting too like when John Rambo is questioning Gabriela’s Mexican friend in her apartment at the kitchen table.
  • Color Reproduction: The colors are mostly natural, organic and earthy throughout.  they really do have a nice balance and overall healthiness to them.  However, sometimes the colors do vary in tone in different sequences, but it seems to be stylistic in nature. One thing that bothered me in this one though is Stallone’s bright choppers.  Come on!  Make them gritty and dirty.  No one your age who spent as much time as your character did in the jungle has teeth this bright white.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones all look natural and authentic throughout this 4K presentation here.  Stallone is a little hotter in temperature than the rest.
  • Noise/Artifacts: In my viewing there were zero nasty artifacts or noise to be found here.  Things are crystal clean with the exception of the very fine grain throughout the presentation making this very film-like to take in and behold.

Rambo Last Blood 4K Review


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Lionsgate’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Rambo: Last Blood.  

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio, English Descriptive Audio, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio Optimized for Late-Night Listening
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Dynamics: The surround audio is presented with wide dynamics, but it doesn’t wow you like Rambo films of the past.  That’s mostly not a ding to this audio track, but instead the environment in which the film takes place in.  Outside of the action moments Brian Tyler’s score pretty much rules the roost here, and rightfully so.  It’s so moving and powerful!  It’s the star of the show here (besides Stallone of course).
  • Height: Besides some of the action sequences most of Atmos uses revolves around the score and music.  Examples include the score pumping loudly, club music and even the song playing in the cave’s overhead speakers near the film’s ending.  One of the most unusual uses includes a shot where Rohypnol is poured in a drink and it fizzes up.  There’s also some explosions to be dealt with here too.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel handles itself well with aggressive bass moments within action, gun shots, explosions and even some deep cuts with both music and score.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: The rear channels are engaged throughout with prioritization during the action sequences.  Besides explosions, gunshots and more my favorite surround sound moments include what goes down in the cave tunnels.  The echoes from gun shots and screams are rendered with authenticity like you’re actually down there with them.  I guess I really didn’t feel too immersed outside of the action moments.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: Here’s my biggest pet peeve with this surround track.  I’m sorry, but bump the dialog levels up a bit here.  It’s intelligible and credible for the most part, but it’s definitely not overly loud and clear.

Rambo Last Blood 4K Review


Rambo: Last Blood comes armed in a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack loaded with a multipart production diary, providing a close-up look at all aspects of the production, as well as a featurette focusing on the film’s music composed by Brian Tyler (Avengers: Age of Ultron, the new Charlie’s Angels).  There’s also a redemption code good for redeeming the feature here in 4K via iTunes, VUDU and more (NOT Movies Anywhere compatible).  Come on let’s dive in below and explore everything you’ll find here with Last Blood‘s supplemental package, which can be accessed via both discs included here in this set.

  • Drawing Last Blood: Multipart Production Diary (HD) – Sylvester Stallone, Director Adrian Grünberg, various actors and more breakdown the various facets of production in regards to shooting this movie accompanied with behind the scenes moments galore.  This one is a big one and I recommend this for all the Last Blood fans reading this.  It’s the closest thing you’ll get to an audio commentary track and a making-of.  There are a total of five segments here: New Blood – Week 1 / October 8, 2018 (7:33), Something To Fight For – Week 2 / October 15, 2018 (6:27), Heaven Above/Hell Below – Week 3 / October 22, 2018 (13:16), Forged In Hellfire – Week 4 / October 29, 2018 (13:01) and Nothing Is Over (8:31).  Stallone confirms what I thought about the film’s ending, but I’m not going to spoil it here.  My hunch though was right!
  • From First Note to Last Blood: Music for the Massacres (HD, 17:22) – This similar featurette was my favorite in the previous Rambo 4K release.  I’m a big fan of Brian Tyler’s score in both films and it should come as no surprise that I eat this extra up.  Brian walks us through his thought process here for the score with Rambo’s last hoorah.
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:09)

Rambo Last Blood 4K Review


There you have it folks.  Rambo: Last Blood is “probably” Stallone’s last Rambo film.  Thankfully, at least for me, this one does not exist simply as a cash grab, but instead it’s a nice way to bookend this legendary action franchise.  I do think if it goes beyond this, then yes it is a cash grab.  This one left things perfectly, but it’s not like the 2008 one didn’t either.  However, I digress.  I stand up for this film.  It’s simple, but to an adequate emotional point.  It’s also nice to see John Rambo outside the jungle in different surroundings, albeit sad to see his life is not any easier.  The guy deserves a break don’t you think?   Whatever you do make sure you don’t turn this one off in the credits.  It has a very pleasing, emotional homage to the legacy of this character and even shows the last shot of this film, which you didn’t see during the main feature.  With a nice film-like 4K video presentation and an equally acceptable Dolby Atmos surround track I can’t think of a better way to spend final moments with this character than this 4K Disc release.  My only nitpick is I would have loved to have an audio commentary.  I checked the digital release and there’s none on there either.  Despite all this we’re all collectors here and this one’s a necessity in yours!



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Rambo: Last Blood 4K Cover


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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