Lost in the non-stop publicity about the new Joker movie (article coming soon!) was the mid-September release of the fifth Rambo film, Rambo: Last Blood. This (likely last) installment in the franchise comes 37 years after the opener, First Blood, and gives Rambo fans a fitting coda to the Green Beret’s heroic if troubled story. But more than that, it imparts a truth the Hollywood Left doesn’t want Americans to hear: President Trump is right about our Open Borders and the murderous drug lords and sex traffickers who exploit them.
Released before yours truly was born, First Blood introduced John Rambo at a propitious moment. Two years into the Reagan presidency, it was “Morning in America.” Hollywood responded with a run of patriotic fare. John Milius’ anti-Soviet Red Dawn in 1984 was another; the short-lived Call to Glory hit TV screens the same year.
But Rambo,1982, came before them. “An expert in guerrilla warfare … a man who’s the best, with guns, with knives, with his bare hands,” as his mentor and commander Col. Sam Trautman explained, Rambo left a deep combat-bootprint on Hollywood and pop culture. In First Blood, a small-town sheriff mistreated him and Rambo left the town a smoking ruin. Trautman sent him back to Vietnam in First Blood Part II (1985) to fetch home abandoned American POWs. In Rambo III (1988), he went to war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, and then he rescued Christian missionaries in Burma in Rambo (2008).
Now comes Last Blood.
Against a $50 million budget, Rambo: Last Blood hauled in just under $19 million its opening weekend, not bad for a film universally hated by critics and panned as a toxic mixture of racist jingoism [‘Rambo: Last Blood’: A Reagan-Era Hero, Re-Engineered for the MAGA Age, by David Fear, Rolling Stone, September 19, 2019]. At Rotten Tomatoes, the critics’ aggregate approval rating is 27 percent. The movie-going public has ignored the arbiters of good celluloid taste. Audience favorability is 82 percent.
One angry critic, by the way, is David Morrell, who wrote the original novel. “The film is a mess,” he tweeted. “Embarrassed to have my name associated with it.” Morrell expected something “soulful” after a long conversation about it with Stallone.
As The Dude would say, “Yeah, well, you know that’s just like, uh, your opinion, man.”
My advice: See Last Blood, and watch Rambo declare war on the evil Mexican sex-traffickers who shanghaied his niece. That storyline sounds a little like the movie Taken, which told the truth about the Muslim guests who have invaded France, even if it didn’t say so outright.
Stallone tells us the truth about Mexico in a straight-forward revenge film set 11 years after Rambo. That film closed with the sullen warrior’s return home to the family ranch in Arizona, where he peacefully breeds horses and cares for the girl. She lives with Rambo because her father, a deadbeat Mexican, abandoned her and her dying mother years before.
A friend claims to have found the father living in Mexico, and so naturally the niece insists on reuniting with him. When she confronts Rambo about going to find her father, he answers: “Why would you wanna do that?”
Plotwise, the answer is this: So Rambo can have one more mission! His niece is drugged and kidnapped by sex traffickers in Mexico, which forces Rambo into action to bring her home. Corrupt cops in the narco-state will be of no help, and so the man who can’t seem to find peace must go to war one more time.
I’ll avoid spoilers and describe just one scene, apropos of its Build-The-Wall message. Having rescued his niece, whom the traffickers have pumped full of heroin, Rambo races through the desert for the border and beyond it, an American hospital. He stops for a few seconds at the flimsy border fence, a few strings of barbed wire, then easily drives over it.
Message: This, viewers, is what separates you from Mexico’s crime, anarchy, and corruption—which is what we’re going to get if we don’t close the border.
Last Blood is extremely violent, and features an especially bloody climactic battle between Rambo and an army of Mexican sex and drug traffickers on his ranch.
Message repeats: America’s Open Borders must close.
Great thing is, much of what Rolling Stone’s Fear wrote about the film’s anti-immigration message is true. We can’t let the Mexican desperados that Rambo is forced to kill cross our border with impunity. Last Blood is cinematic justification for mass deportation and an immigration moratorium to halt Mexico’s anarchy and corruption, which created the conditions so many Mexicans want to flee, from coming here through illegal immigration.
Thus do the attacks on Last Blood as racist and “Trumpian” illustrate just how out of touch the elites are not only with average Americans but also with reality. They see no problem with importing hundreds of thousands of “refugees” from the violent, corrupt, dysfunctional kleptocracies in Mexico and Central America.
“One could argue that the film actually creates sympathy for Mexicans who wish to flee what are often hellish conditions in the more dangerous regions of their home country,” Michael Saltis wrote at Conservatism Inc. website site The Federalist [Critics Slam ‘Rambo: Last Blood’ For Making Sex Traffickers Look Bad, September 24, 2019].
But then again, Saltis continued:
We’re apparently so deep into our hyper-politicized era that a film showcasing an American action hero beating the tar out of a vicious Mexican cartel is now subject to libelous accusations of racism and xenophobia — ignoring that this action hero is also fighting on behalf of other Mexican characters. Shouldn’t fighting sex trafficking be on our to-do lists regardless of our party affiliation?
Out in Americaland, people get that. The Leftist film critics don’t. They seem oblivious to the truth about Mexico that Last Blood vividly shows its audience. It is a lawless, bloody country dominated by corrupt police officials working with drug cartels.
Maybe the critics should read a newspaper. Just last week, the decapitated body of Jose Antonio Archi Yama, commander of the Quintana Roo State Police, was found in Cancun. He was murdered by one of the many drug cartels fighting for control of Mexico [Kidnapped Mexican police commander found beheaded in Cancun, by Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, September 23, 2019].
In some sense, the film answers a question Rambo asked in First Blood: Part II. That film opens with Rambo in prison, at hard labor, after wrecking the small town where the sheriff brutalized him. His former commanding officer Trautman shows up with a new mission: Go back to Vietnam to bring home the boys we left behind.
“Do we get to win this time?” Rambo asks.
In Last Blood, America wins. We get an accurate assessment of Mexico’s violence and corruption, and a reminder that Mexicans created those conditions and will bring them here if the illegal immigration and sex and drug trafficking at the border continue.
Forget Joker. See Last Blood, the movie that triggered the Leftist critics—because we win when we get the truth.
Paul Kersey[Email him] is the author of the blog SBPDL, and has published the books SBPDL Year One, Hollywood in Blackface and Escape From Detroit, Opiate of America: College Football in Black and White and Second City Confidential: The Black Experience in Chicagoland. His latest book is The Tragic City: Birmingham 1963-2013.