John Rambo has had a more complicated journey than most franchise heroes. The blockbuster character, played for the past 37 years by Sylvester Stallone
, has symbolized the evils of war, the awesomeness of war, the evils of America, the awesomeness of America, the evils of violence, the awesomeness of violence — sometimes in the same film. He’s come to represent the nation’s complicated views about war, which are at turns condemned and celebrated, often without much concern for continuity or rationality.
Watching the whole “Rambo
” franchise is like having a conversation with somebody who has convictions, but isn’t 100% sure what they are. As such, the films are sometimes cartoonishly self-serious, sometimes accidentally amusing, and occasionally — at the best of times — genuine eye-openers.
5. Rambo: Last Blood
Rambo spent ten years living a good life along the Mexican-American border, but when human traffickers kidnap his niece, it’s up to the