Before watching the movie:
The problem with Sylvester Stallone’s franchises is that they were really never meant to be franchises. But then I say that having never seen any of the Rocky or Rambo sequels. However, I get the sense that the Rocky movies did better at retaining its emotional center than Rambo.
As I understand this, the original Rambo film is a fairly faithful telling of a story contemplating what happens to Vietnam veterans with difficulty adjusting to civilian life (in this case, get triggered and start shooting people), while the later movies recast the character as a warrior put in contexts that need a warrior for the sake of letting him shoot more people. So I expect this one to be thoughtful on a level somewhat beyond a typical gritty action movie.
Stallone gets typed as an action star, but it’s clear from Rocky that he can portray human vulnerability, and I hope to see that on display here in the pacing scenes.