According to the Dark Horizons website, Sylvester Stallone is contemplating a fifth, and final, on-screen outing for John Rambo:
Do we really need another Rambo flick? I’m sure there are people out there who’d say, “Oh, hell no,” and those folks can go watch something else. Me? I’m in.
“Ethan Hunt? Pansy.”
Now, don’t get me wrong: the four previous Rambo movies haven’t all been masterpieces, to be sure. The original First Blood is still the best of the quartet (and it celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Nootch.), and if you’ve not yet had a chance to read it, I’d recommend picking up the original novel by David Morrell. Why? Because David Morrell is awesome. So, that’s settled now.
The second and third movies are varying degrees of ridiculous, though both films at least boast pretty decent scores composed by the late, great Jerry Goldsmith (Rambo: First Blood, Part II has the better music overall, I think). 2008’s Rambo is by far the most brutal of the bunch. The comic-booky, mustache-twirling villains of the second and third films are long gone as the fourth movie turns a stark light on the horrific situation in Burma, pulling few if any punches so far as the on-screen violence is concerned. In some ways, Rambo as portrayed here is closest to the way Morrell describes him in the original book. The film falls a tad short in execution, though, due in no small part to a fairly lean budget.
Is there another Rambo story to tell? Hard to say. The end of the fourth movie shows Rambo at long last returning to his father’s home, presumably somewhere in the southwest if the “canon” of the character was preserved. The last scene shows him walking the long path from the road to the house; We don’t know what he finds once he meets whoever’s there, or if he’s finally able to embrace the peace which eluded him for so long. According to the Dark Horizon’s article, it’s possible that the untitled Rambo 5 might focus on the “situation” along the US-Mexico border.
Yo, Machete: Trouble’s comin’ your way.
Rambo is one of a handful of 80s action icons which have managed to survive, more or less, into the 21st century, alongside John McClane and Indiana Jones. Can Martin Riggs be far behind? We already know there’s another Die Hard movie, A Good Day to Die Hard, coming next year, on Valentine’s Day and in time to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the classic first movie. There’s always a rumor or two running rampant about Indy donning his fedora and cracking his whip one more time.
As for Rambo? Stallone can still entertain in the action department. That much was evident from The Expendables, an over-the-top popcorn fest complete with 80s-style soundtrack and one-liners that I enjoyed without shame. There’s a sequel to that coming, too, which looks like it’ll be even more fun than the first one. So, if anybody can pull off resuscitating an aging movie warrior like John Rambo, it’s Sly.
I guess we’ll see what we’ll see.