In Rambo: Last Blood, there is an expansive network of tunnels underneath Rambo’s family farm. Why did he build them and what purpose do they serve?
In Rambo: Last Blood, a complex network of underground tunnels run underneath John Rambo’s family farm, but why did he spend so much time building these catacombs? The latest entry in the Rambo franchise, Last Blood, serves as what is ostensibly a final goodbye to Sylvester Stallone’s John Rambo.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Last Blood is the fact Rambo has constructed a complex network of tunnels underneath his old family farm over the past ten years or so. His daughter gently teases him regarding his unusual hobby, describing him to her friends as “a bit crazy.” She means it in a gentle, non-judgmental way, but she’s not entirely wrong in her assessment.
At the start of Last Blood, Rambo is in a surprisingly positive mental state. He’s not cured of his demons, but he’s been able to, as he says, “Keep a lid on it, every day.” Early on, Rambo has a brief Vietnam flashback while checking his tunnels. His dedication to building these catacombs, combined with his contented state in the film’s first act, suggest the tunnels have been a self-prescribed therapy for his past trauma.
Rambo: Last Blood’s Tunnels Bring The Vietnam War To Arizona
The visuals of Rambo’s homemade underground tunnels are evocative of the tunnels of Củ Chi, which played a pivotal role during the Vietnam War. This large network of underground canals were a major hindrance to American operations. North Vietnamese soldiers were able to travel underground, emerging for hit and run attacks, and then disappearing just as quickly. These tunnels ultimately helped them win the war, with America abandoning the fight in 1973. Rambo’s tunnels are much larger and more sanitary than those of Củ Chi, but the imagery is comparable. Symbolically, the tunnels underneath his farm are where he holds his demons, where he channels his negative energy, and where he keeps his past close, but contained.
By the final act of Last Blood, Rambo has lost everything. His daughter, the person who made him believe he could be a complete human being again, has been taken away from him. He tried so hard to be a complete person, and he succeeded for many years, but it all ended when she died in his truck due to a fatal drug overdose. To cope with his grief, Rambo devises a plan to kill everyone responsible for her death, and his “PTSD Tunnels” play a key role in his revenge.
Rambo’s Tunnels Complete His Vietnam Journey
After brutally murdering one of the gang leaders, Rambo lures the rest of them to a final showdown on his farm. Little do they know, he’s booby-trapped the whole estate, including his underground tunnels. Using the same guerilla tactics that were likely used on him and his friends fifty years ago, Rambo emerges from his tunnels like a Vietnamese fighter popping out of a spider hole, shoots several targets, and then disappears underground before they even know what hit them. When the gang catches on to his tactics and follow him underground, the true terror begins in Rambo: Last Blood.
Deep underground, the gang searches for Rambo, but he has absolute control over the situation. When he starts playing The Doors’ 1968 rocker, Five to One, his control is consolidated. In a twisted way, Rambo is back in Vietnam, fighting his own personal war. Vietnam fighters were dismissed as farmers with little training and cheap weapons. Rambo is literally on a farm, armed with old-fashioned lever-action rifles and homemade traps. He’s defending his home from an invading force, just like the Vietnamese.
Rambo’s tunnels hold his personal Vietnam. He never thought he’d need to tap into this darkness again, but fate had other plans. Ultimately, by luring his enemies underground, he invites them into a place where he has complete control, where he’s channeled all the hate and grief he’s carried over the past fifty years since he first fought in Vietnam, with Rambo: Last Blood bringing the story full circle.