Critics have not been kind to the latest and final movie in the "Rambo" franchise, "Rambo: Last Blood." And the creator of the Rambo character, David Morrell, isn't a fan, either.
Morrell, who wrote the 1972 novel "First Blood" that spawned the "Rambo" movie franchise starring Sylvester Stallone, tweeted on Friday that he agreed with the harsh reviews.
"The film is a mess," Morrell said. "Embarrassed to have my name associated with it."
Morrell elaborated on his criticism of the movie in follow-up comments to Newsweek.
"I felt degraded and dehumanized after I left the theater," Morrell said. "Instead of being soulful, this new movie lacks one. I felt I was less a human being for having seen it, and today that's an unfortunate message."
"Rambo: Last Blood" follows Stallone's Rambo as he crosses the US-Mexico border to save a kidnapped girl. The movie has received a 28% Rotten Tomatoes critic score. The Guardian called it a "massively enlarged prostate of a film."
"In 2019's hypersensitive cultural environment, the depiction of murderous Mexican crime bosses and their cowering sex slaves encountering a literal white savior doesn't go down so easy," Indiewire wrote.
The movie earned $18.8 million in its domestic debut over the weekend, coming in third place behind fellow newcomers "Downtown Abbey" ($31 million) and Brad Pitt's sci-fi drama "Ad Astra" ($19 million). The last movie in the franchise, 2008's "Rambo," made $22.8 million (after adjusting for inflation) in its debut.
With a $50 million budget, it's hard to say right now whether "Last Blood" will turn out to be a success. But audiences who have seen it have given the movie more approval than Morrell or film critics.
It has an 84% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes based on nearly 3,000 user ratings and a B rating on Cinemascore, which surveys audiences on a movie's opening night.
Morrell added that the movie "assumes the audience is familiar with Rambo's background, whereas anyone under 40 will wonder what on Earth is going on with those tunnels."
"From multiple perspectives, this film fails miserably," Morrell told Newsweek. "The best I can say is that the first two minutes were promising."