Since the rise of the Trump presidency, entertainment has taken a weird and troubling look at Mexico-United States relations. Films like Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado and Peppermint have focused on white people having to come up against murderous Mexican gang or cartel members, cleansing themselves (and the U.S., by proxy) through violence and bloodshed. The new trailer for Rambo: Last Blood looks no different.
Based on the 1982 feature, First Blood, the Rambo series follows John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone), a Vietnam veteran who butts heads with the police after returning home. The film spawned three sequels between 1985 and 2008, all aimed at a pretty overt white male Republican demographic. Rambo: Last Blood brings John Rambo back home only to see his lone family member, his niece Gabrielle (Chilean American Yvette Monreal), drugged and kidnapped by Mexican cartel members. Additional cast members include well-known Mexican and Spanish talent like Paz Vega, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Adriana Barraza, Joaquín Cosío and Óscar Jaenada.
The trailer is pure ’80s action that’s hard to sit through in 2019. Rambo uses knives, a crossbow, and his own fists to beat on stereotypically lanky, leathered-up cartel members. As the tagline “His War Comes Home” plays over scenes of fire and violence, Rambo threatens to tear apart the depicted bad hombres.
Between this and the recent scene in Terminator: Dark Fate’s new trailer, wherein the Terminator plays a border guard, Hollywood seems to see big business in our continued border crisis. But in this Rambo trailer specifically, it’s evident the goal is to entice people who truly believe all Mexicans are bad and they’re coming over to kidnap women. John Rambo is the white savior tasked with helping the good and pretty Latina he’s related to.
But it’s worth going back to that tagline: “His War Comes Home.” Rambo was a Vietnam vet who, in the first film, didn’t want to go back to war. Now, the implication is that the Mexicans have incited a war and not kept to their side, metaphorically invading his land and forcing him to retaliate.
Rambo: Last Blood hits theaters September 20, 2019.