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A movie directed by Sylvester Stallone

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Rambo Forever

  • Sep 25, 2008
Pros: A LOT of action!

Cons: Takes itself too seriously.

The Bottom Line: How do you like the new leaner format I'm working on so far?

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the only Rambo movie ever made that has ever officially been called just "Rambo." The plot of Rambo would seem very simple from the outside: It is about a washed-up former movie star making an effort to reconnect with his audience. Okay, bad joke there, but I doubt that anyone will blame me for making it even though Sylvester Stallone, who wrote, directed, and starred in Rambo is the one ejoying the last laugh.

Rambo is most definitely an eighties movie. Before the sudden emergence of the emotional action star, Stallone and his Vietnam vet who never really left 'Nam set the standard for stone-faced robots running the kill-meter into the stratosphere. Only the year has changed. John Rambo still doesn't say very much, and he shows even less aptitude for actually stringing words together in order to form sentences. But Rambo's actions are what really count in a short but fun flashback to the time of Transformers, hair bands, eight-bit video game consoles, and a crappy remake of Coke. The body count in Rambo soars like the projectile vomit of the weak-stomached who were somehow coaxed by their friends into watching this thing.

And Rambo is a very graphic, bloody sight to behold. Stallone directs Rambo with an eye for all those great old action character cliches and all the subtlety of a prematurely detonating hand grenade. Much of the action in Rambo, especially during the Nothing-is-ever-over action extravaganza known as the finale, is speeded up. The resulting scene looks like it filmed with handheld cameras, and they give the scenes the breathless type of confusion which almost makes you feel like you're there. I was often reminded of the famed Normandy scene at the beginning of Saving Private Ryan, in which hand cameras were employed at strategic intervals to pound in the message that war is hell. In Rambo, limbs fly, people explode in sick orgies of blood, and every bloody second is caught on film. This borders on war pornography.

The plot of Rambo - for real this time - is that a group of missionaries hire Rambo, living in Asia and just kind of waiting around for something which may never come, hire Rambo to take them up the river to people who need care. Rambo, in the first appearance of his many cliches, initially says no. But then Sarah, the damsel in distress, asks him. He agrees. Unfortunately, the country is in a war zone and so the missionaries are captured. Rambo then leads a group of mercenaries to rescue them. I was struck by how dumb the missionaries were. When Rambo's boat gets boarded by a group of the bad guys who clearly want more than just to know what time it is, Rambo defends them by killing the attackers. He is then chided by the lead missionary, who of course gives him the standard "all killing is wrong" talk. Didn't this guy see what the enemies were going to do? Didn't he at least get the gist of it?

I find it a little odd that during these turbulent times, Stallone chose to use Vietnamese villains instead of Arabs. But I also understand that he may not have wanted to offend the immigrated Arab population which is mostly just trying to make a living. But any way it goes, Stallone was smart enough to not give the bad guys any names. Only one, the leader, has a face you can identify.

Rambo makes the mistake of taking itself too seriously. Rambo's tongue is nowhere close to his cheek at any time during the movie, and there are no winks at the camera. But Rambo is still a plain, old-fashioned fun eighties action movie. So what if the star is older? Most of the movie is soaked in blood, bullets, and action. It may not suit all tastes, hence the three-star rating, but those who appreciate fast-paced action movies with stone-cold heroes and short running times (not even 100 minutes) will love Rambo. All over again.


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More Rambo reviews
review by . June 29, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
The missionaries brought bibles and medicine, Rambo brought bullets.
Rambo, the fourth film in Stallones "other" movie francise has him dusting off the character for another go around in action and meyhem again much like that aforementioned "other francise" and likewise, both of his long overdue sequels redeem their series with much more satisfying finales.      John Rambo has been doing his best to live the quiet life in Thailand where he takes whatever odd job he can get be it catching snakes for a local snake show or ferrying …
Quick Tip by . July 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Completely blood stained and unforgiving in it's portrayal of what goes on in Burma everyday has Sly taking his war hero with mercenaries to rescue missionaries in the troubled nation. Like the title of another movie says, there will be blood.
review by . May 28, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Live For Nothing Or Die For Something
2008 really did open with a bang & Rambo had no great competition at the local box office. Cloverfield?? Please, you've got to be kidding. I would take Rambo any given day of the week rather than torture myself again with Cloverfield. Thanks again sly for saving the day!       The latest installment in the Rambo series doesn't bare the number 4 but is certainly a welcomed return of our favorite hero. John has long since sworn off fighting again but now captures …
review by . December 21, 2009
What started out as the revival of a moneymaking franchise turns into one of the most relevant movies of the last few years. Sylvester Stallone's return as John Rambo is not only a good movie but a movie that has become a rallying cry to a group of actually fighting tyrany.    We find our hero settled in Thailand, working with and catching snakes. He is approached by a group from a church wanting to bring in a group of doctors into Burma. Rambo declines warning them of the danger …
review by . October 24, 2009
John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) is living in peaceful seclusion in Thailand.  The ghosts from his past still haunt him but he's dealing with it as best as he can. One day a group of christian missionaries come by his village and ask him if he would be able to guide them into Burma.  Rambo refuse and tries to dissuade the group until Sarah (Julie Benz), a female missionary convinces him be their guide.  Weeks later, the missionaries are kidnapped and a team of mercenaries are hired …
review by . July 03, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
After following the situation in Burma for years, it sure was nice to see somebody take on the Burmese army! Unlike the past movies, this one isn't exactly Rambo versus a huge army - he has help from some mercenaries. Still, they manage to do a good deal of damage. If only they could do that in real life. This is really the only movie since Beyond Rangoon that features Burma, so it's a must-see for anyone interested in the country.    This is definitely the best Rambo film since …
review by . April 17, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Many years ago, a then famous novelist named John Hersey wrote an anti-war novel about WWII pilot Buzz Marrow. Marrow loved war and didn't want see his war end. It was because of people like Marrow, the war lovers, that wars existed maintained Hersey.     Well, some people are born to be soldiers and we Americans are much better off for the Pattons, Washingtons, Grants and many others whose names are not famous, but who believed enough in the nation to put their lives at risk.   & …
review by . May 31, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Resurrecting `Rambo' doesn't offer much sentimentality. Unlike `Rocky Balboa' where we get lingering memories of previous fame and Adrienne's haunting presence, Sylvester Stallone brings back John Rambo after a twenty-year hiatus with nothing more than harrowing flashbacks from his Vietnam experiences. These brief, yet skillful scenes are taken from past movies, cleverly revealing his inner turmoil, flashing before our eyes. This time they don't fool around. Clocking in at 1:23, this installment …
review by . May 21, 2008
Sly might be old but the man still got it. A lot people has seen Rocky Balboa and loved the movie, but wait until Stallone gathers all of his strength and places all of his energy into making John Rambo, the fourth Rambo film of the saga. It's definitely not an upgrade from any previous Rambo installment; it's just the next one. The dialog is very 'Stallone-esque' (lots of cheesy tag lines that sometimes hit and sometimes miss) but tolerable if you keep your expectations realistic being that it's …
review by . April 23, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
I must admit, that as of recent I have enjoyed current mainstream movies regardless if they are released to the theater or directly to video so I can abase them. In other words, I truly find pleasure in ripping movies apart. It has been my perception, my perception, that about 70% of movies made in the past 5 to 6 years are horrid.    One might ask why I feel this way, well it is rather simple. Most movies are a plug in for a new phone, car or maybe to promote a soundtrack. These …
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Nicholas Croston ()
Ranked #26
Hi! I'm here in part to plug my writing and let everyone know that I'm trying to take my work commercial.      Now, what about me? Well, obviously I like to write. I'm … more
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If you've been wondering what ever happened to ex–Green Beret superwarrior John Rambo since he singlehandedly shot up a Pacific Northwest town (First Blood, 1982), returned to the jungles of 'Nam to free U.S. POWs held long after war's end (Rambo: First Blood Part II, 1985), and interrupted the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan long enough to blow lots of stuff up and rescue his old commandant from the Reds (Rambo III, 1988), thenRambo(2008) is for you. Without so much as aIVto dilute the brand name,Rambo--which is what most of us called the second, most iconic film in the series--may aspire to open a new era for a pop legend. But it's a thoroughly mechanical attempt to reanimate a franchise that, absent the anger, frustration, and self-loathing of the post-Vietnam years, has no meaning or purpose. For some time now Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) has been putt-putting along the Thai-Burmese border in a longboat, catching exotic snakes to sell. As for the 60-year civil war in Burma between the brutal government and the Karen independence movement, he ignores it. Enter a party of American missionaries whose dewy blond spokeswoman (Dexter's Julie Benz) asks Rambo to haul them upriver so that they can bring medical aid to the insurgents. After the requisite number of monosyllabic refusals, he does. Soon afterward the do-gooders are in a world of hurt, and he's summoned to lead a squad of mercenaries on a rescue mission.

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