Sylvester Stallone means business in the gritty new trailer for Rambo: Last Blood, not least because the titular character of John Rambo must confront a legacy of destruction.
The trailer stylishly interweaves clips of the previous Rambo movies, dating from 1982, 1985, 1988 and 2008. It reinforces how much history is etched into Stallone's gravel-voiced portrayal of the haunted Vietnam veteran, who this time goes up against a Mexican drug cartel.
Further adding to the trailer's nostalgia is the distant voice of Rambo's former mentor Colonel Trautman (the late Richard Crenna), who was his moral compass in the midst of all the carnage.
Throughout the series, the resourceful Rambo has cut a swathe through many enemies, including a small-town American police force, the Ruskies (twice – in the second and third movies), and ruthless militia in the 2008 fourquel. The most recent movie was the most violent of the lot, a gore-strewn 90-minute blast in which bodies were turned into mincemeat.
Judging from the visual aesthetic and brooding tone of the new trailer, we can expect Last Blood to head the same way. It appears Stallone is drawing inspiration from the Liam Neeson school of advancing age equals increased violence, with Rambo setting a host of nasty traps on his cowboy ranch.
There's no much to say about the plot, but who cares? We've got action icon Stallone going nihilistic on some nasty enemies, with an assortment of weaponry including bows, knives and a lot more besides.
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Stallone has co-written the script so we know it'll remain authentic to the spirit of the character, and director Adrian Grunberg says the film potentially "closes the circle" on Rambo's journey.