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The outer reaches of franchise extremities are being reached by Sylvester Stallone. No star in the history of Hollywood has been so dedicated towards squeezing blood out of a stone, so if there are more installments to come, they will come. Which is why no one was surprised to hear him discuss a fifth Rambo film, but we all figured age would be a factor in that project falling by the wayside. Well, guess again!
In an interview with Vulture, Sylvester Stallone revealed that he was currently in training for a fifth Rambo.
"I’m getting ready for that. I’m starting to work out. I’m going to be appropriately vicious and all that stuff, but intellectual. A killer with a heart. Smart, yet stupid. Tall, yet short. Broad, but thin. You know what I mean. We’re going to try to cover all the boundaries."
Well, that devolved into gibberish quickly. You'll recall that Rambo, the oddly-named fourth chapter in the series, ended with Stallone's heroic killer (yeah, just go with it) finally ambling home to the Rambo estate in the middle of America, to reunite with his father, maybe kids, maybe someone else. John Matrix? Whatever the case, it seemed like a fitting end to the story. The only reasons Stallone would have to return to this character (other than money and sentimentality) is to provide a more final, conclusive end. There's no poetry without blood in the Rambo universe.
The original pitch for part five involved human trafficking and a No Country For Old Men vibe. Stallone's discussed this for years, however, so maybe that's changed. Regardless, he's definitely got an in with Millennium, who funded all of his recent movies and would gladly cut him a check again for a low budget Rambo, especially if it approaches the gore-fest of the last one. That one, by the way, grossed $113 million worldwide. However, Sly's stumbled as of late: just about no one went to see Bullet To The Head and The Expendables 3 is doing surprisingly poor business this weekend. Do you still gamble on the guy?
Well, of course you do. Just doing another sequel is boring. But doing a FINAL sequel has appeal. John Rambo was used and spit out by the machine in First Blood, bullied and tortured simply for being a soldier. In the second and third films, the machine came calling again, and he answered with an unmatched ferocity. The fourth film, decades later, made it clear that the machine basically abandoned him once again, banishing him to a Third World wasteland. Now that he's back in America, he's likely fighting a different kind of machine, one that's deemed him even less essential before – after all, he's 68, and considering what he's been through, he should be dead. And considering Stallone's age and mileage, he shouldn't be leading action franchises anymore. One more time? Sure Sly, we'll bite.
But Rambo had better be dead at the end of all this. Quit jerking us around.