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A movie directed by Sylvester Stallone

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Rambo is back, and he is ticked off.

  • Jan 25, 2008
  • by
Pros: Solid action.

Cons: Thin on plot and characters, very violent.

The Bottom Line: If you are a fan of the series, You will love this.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

It has been almost twenty years since Sylvester Stallone last appeared as the iconic John Rambo. In the ensuing decades, his larger than life portrayal of the troubles Green Beret has faded some, but remained firmly a part of Americana, and to some, the old days of Ronald Regan’s Gunboat Diplomacy.

The world has changed since Rambo last helped Afghanistan rebels fight off their Russian invaders in the last film, as the world of today has Russia as an previously unlikely ally, and Afghanistan still a battleground, with terrorists replacing the Soviet invaders.

To some, the image of the swaggering Rambo solving his problems through overwhelming and deadly displays of violence is a reflection of times past. Today the image of the one man army seems to some as out of place as two cowboys having a showdown at noon.

In the new film, Rambo spends his days catching snakes for a snake show, and ferrying people up and down the river in his boat. Life in Thailand has been quiet for Rambo as his days of soldiering are over, which is good as far as he is concerned as he has become very bitter with life, as he fails to see how any of his actions, or those of his comrades have made any significant change in the world.

When a group of missionaries arrive and wish to hire Rambo to ferry them into nearby Burma, Rambo is not interested as he mentions that unless the missionaries are bringing weapons into the longstanding warzone, then they will not be making a difference.
Rambo eventually relents and drops the group off in Burma, and returns to Thailand to contemplate his life, and what the comely missionary Sarah (Julie Benz), has told him about going home and seeing how much things have changed in the decades since he left.

In time, Rambo is informed that the missionaries have failed to return and is asked to lead a team of mercenaries back to Burma in an attempt to locate and rescue the missing caregivers.

At this point the film kicks into high gear as Rambo must once again face his past, and find purpose in his training that have made him and elite killing machine, as he attempts to come full circle, and finally put the demons of his past behind him.

The film is light on plot and character development, but Stallone, (who co-wrote, produced, and directed the film) knows what his audience wants and delivers it to them in droves. The bad guys are easily the vilest, inhumane, and loathsome villains ever put on the screen as they make all of the villains of past Stallone films combined look like altar boys. Horrific atrocities abound, and the audience knows that it is only a matter of time until Rambo dishes out justice.

The film is very graphic, and I would be hard pressed to find a more graphic action film, as limbs are hacked and blown off in graphic detail, and several people find themselves decapitated or reduced to bloody piles of gore.
While this to some is over the top, Stallone pulls no punches and shows the horrific damage that can be caused by modern weaponry and does not sanitize the effects as so many modern films do. In providing first class action, he also takes the time to subtly educate and inform without being preachy.

While the film is not going to win praise for acting and writing, Stallone knows what he is trying to do, and keeps the film a tight, and well-paced action fest that shows that Rambo still has plenty of life in him and like his recent outing as Rocky, was not ready to say goodbye to his two franchise characters.

If you are a fan of action, and the previous films in the series, then sit back and enjoy, as John Rambo is back and taking names.

4 stars out of 5.


Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

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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
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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 . September 25, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
review by . July 01, 2008
The name Rambo is synonymous with violence, so with Rambo 4, John Rambo or whatever you want to call it, they were determined to make this the most violent Rambo to date. Taking the setting to Burma to give the mainstream audience a view on how violent parts of Burma are, Rambo is revived in a triumphant massacre. This time, he's not alone.    After being approached by a group of Christian Aid Workers, Rambo takes them up the river and into Burma. He starts to fall for one of …
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 …
About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #111
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … 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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