Back in May 2019 the trailer for Rambo Last Blood came out and at the time I was excited. Now, 4 months later, and 8 days until the film is released in theatres on September 20th, I am less excited.
I am not even sure if I will even bother to see it in the theatre. Might just wait until it comes out on Netflix/etc.
Now I admit I love the whole Rambo and Rocky franchises.
But I dunno. Something about this newest offering... feels off. I am sure I will watch it regardless, but spending $$ on a film that feels off and gives me feelings of uncertainty... I just don't know.
Maybe I need to read the reviews. (Except in my experience film reviewers suck and I often disagree with them, and therefore they cannot be trusted.)
As films go one of the draws for me is that the movie has archery in it...
Except there has been other recent films which contained archery that I refused to go see too.
eg. The 2018 film "Robin Hood" which had the main character doing backflips, parkour and shooting a horsebow.
It looks nice in the trailer, but the lack of realism in archery always annoys me.
What Do I Look For In An Archery Film?
#1. Gritty Realism.
Think Die Hard. The hero should get injured often. Glass in his feet, beat up and bruised. The whole shebang.
#2. Realistic Archery.
Any real archer watching movies these days will often have a long list of complaints about the lack of realism in the film.
#3. A Good Plot.
An easy to follow plot with only a few twists to make it interesting. Too many twists and weirdness and the plot becomes derailed with too many plot holes.
#4. The Film Should Stand On Its Own
Do you know what makes the first Matrix film so good? It stands on its own. It doesn't require sequels. Same with Die Hard. Stands on its own. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark... stands on its own. You could potentially never watch another Matrix, Die Hard or Indiana Jones film after watching the first one, and you would still think the first films in their franchises were great films because they simply are. The film makers didn't set out to make a franchise. That happened by accident.
Take a film like Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. Awesome film. My personal favourite of all the Robin Hood films. Worthy of a sequel, but they never made one. It stands on its own as a great film.
#5. A Good Lead Actor.
Fat Russell Crowe? Bad actor. I wish he could be banned from acting entirely.
Taron Egerton? I find him annoying. He should be relegated to B movies.
Kevin Costner? Great actor. I enjoy every film he is in.
Errol Flynn? The original Robin Hood from 1938. I admit I haven't seen him in many films, but those I have seen have been very good.
And I am not alone, clearly as the last two flops show.
The last two big budget Robin Hood films, Russell Crowe in 2010 and Taron Egerton (2018) were both HUGE flops. The 2010 film managed to double its production budget in profits, which means it basically lost money by overspending on advertising. The 2018 film only earned back 84% of its production budget, which meant its advertising budget and 16% of its production costs was all flushed down the drain.
To find a Robin Hood film that actually does well at the box office you have to go back to 1991 - 28 years ago:
Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.
It did so well at the box office it made back its production budget times 8.
And it led to a toy line which sold successfully.
You can go on eBay today and search for 'robin hood prince of thieves toys' and find a robust bidding market of 279 action figures for sale.
Why? Because it was a popular film back in 1991. Still popular today.
Also trust me when I say nobody wants an action figure of Fat Russell Crowe.
So what about Rambo Last Blood ?
Well, the film should qualify for 3 or 4 of the 5 bits of criteria I consider for a good archery film. Gritty, realistic archery and a good lead actor. Whether it has a good plot or can stand on its own is a matter of debate.
I don't know. I don't want to completely pass judgement on a film I haven't even seen yet.
Even if it only has a half decent plot and manages to half decently stand on its own that would make it a 4 star film in my book.
Or maybe it does both well, in which case it deserves 5 stars. I won't know until I watch it.
So maybe I will go see it in the theatre after all. We shall see.