Rambo

Rambo

(2008)

Sylvester Stallone brings his iconic John Rambo character back to the silver screen. 20 years since we last saw him, Rambo has decided to live the quiet life, running a longboat on the Salween River in northern Thailand. Rambo enjoys fishing and catching snakes, calmly ignoring the civil war that rages on the nearby Burmese border. But two weeks after taking some human rights missionaries up the river, he finds out that they've been captured and held hostage. When a priest comes to him asking for help, John Rambo, super-soldier, knows what he must do...

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Flicks Review

Possibly the most violent movie ever.

In the stuff of ready-made film-geek legend, the director of Rambo sat in a chair marked, in eBay-ready mission-statement, “John Rambo”.

This proves doubly apt when watching Rambo. On the one hand, few actors have been so immortally linked with a role as Stallone has been to Rambo, and fewer still have embraced that bond as fervently as does he.

But equally, the gag is appropriate because this is what it would be like if John Rambo had somehow arrived in our world, and taken it into his head to direct a movie. Equal parts dunderheaded and noble, misguidedly horrific and fist-pumpingly awesome, Rambo doesn’t veer between unpleasant and vicariously righteous so much as charge bodily through both.

While mainly eschewing the winking fan-service that blunted Die Hard’s return to theatres, Rambo is unmistakably canon, in style as well as subject. However the strongest formulaic throwback isn’t to the previous First Blood pictures (a truly ballsy, timely salvo would’ve been to revisit those films’ critique of America’s treatment of her soldiers) so much as to the black sheep of 80s action: Death Wish and its vigilante ilk.

Here, the rhythm is simple: a series of violent, degenerate assaults on innocent populace and audience sensibility alike, then an orgy of retributive bloodletting in which right triumphs over wrong but emerges panting, sweating and coated in blood not its own.

No film of this ilk can ever survive scrutiny from all corners: its politics, by necessity, are those of division and demonization. Someone, however they may differ from us, has to get it in the neck. To get this formula right, a film must leave audiences with a queasy feeling of having taken part in a ritual both cleansing and less than entirely wholesome.

And John Rambo, bless his heart, has made a movie that pretty much hits the nail on the head.


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 6 ratings, 6 reviews
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This movie is more of the same except this time, the character of John Rambo is much meaner and more disturbing than ever before! But in a good way.
Be prepared for anything but subtle in this action packed orgy of blood and body parts. I must admit, it was the most violent movie I have ever seen in both storyline and special effects. Very real demonstrations of what a Browning .50 and a Barrett sniper rifle WILL DO to a human body.
Sly did a great job in the movie. I probably felt more... More compassion for him in this installation than in the others. It seems probable that this may be happening even today in that part of the world.
See it and be prepared to hit the pause button when you get up for snacks... you don't want to miss any of this one.Hide


In the stuff of ready-made film-geek legend, the director of Rambo sat in a chair marked, in eBay-ready mission-statement, “John Rambo”.

This proves doubly apt when watching Rambo. On the one hand, few actors have been so immortally linked with a role as Stallone has been to Rambo, and fewer still have embraced that bond as fervently as does he.

But equally, the gag is appropriate because this is what it would be like if John Rambo had somehow arrived in our world, and taken it into... More his head to direct a movie. Equal parts dunderheaded and noble, misguidedly horrific and fist-pumpingly awesome, Rambo doesn’t veer between unpleasant and vicariously righteous so much as charge bodily through both.

While mainly eschewing the winking fan-service that blunted Die Hard’s return to theatres, Rambo is unmistakably canon, in style as well as subject. However the strongest formulaic throwback isn’t to the previous First Blood pictures (a truly ballsy, timely salvo would’ve been to revisit those films’ critique of America’s treatment of her soldiers) so much as to the black sheep of 80s action: Death Wish and its vigilante ilk.

Here, the rhythm is simple: a series of violent, degenerate assaults on innocent populace and audience sensibility alike, then an orgy of retributive bloodletting in which right triumphs over wrong but emerges panting, sweating and coated in blood not its own.

No film of this ilk can ever survive scrutiny from all corners: its politics, by necessity, are those of division and demonization. Someone, however they may differ from us, has to get it in the neck. To get this formula right, a film must leave audiences with a queasy feeling of having taken part in a ritual both cleansing and less than entirely wholesome.

And John Rambo, bless his heart, has made a movie that pretty much hits the nail on the head.Hide


Rambo – To Hell and Back
Film review
Written by Luke Mason
‘Rambo – To Hell and Back’ is an honest to goodness action-packed, blood-thirsty blood-bath of a film that is thoroughly entertaining. It stars Sylvester Stallone who reprises his role as John Rambo, in his fourth instalment of the Rambo series; Stallone has a lot riding on this project; as his co-writing and directing credits demonstrate.
The story follows John Rambo (Stallone) who is hiding out in the Burmese jungle and... More working as a snake wrangler and boatman. However, his humble life changes as a group of missionaries ask him for help - to transport them up the river into Burma to can carry out missionary work. But, the plan is foiled when an evil Burmese army perform genocide on every village in sight. This triggers John Rambo into action; as he and a pack of motley crew renegade mercenaries fight the lawless army; and it’s a battle to the death.
The simple but effective storyline leaves plenty of room for action and violence to take centre stage.
Moreover, the audience can enjoy watching Rambo blast, slice and dice the bad guys. It is pure primal entertainment and is extremely impressive. The death toll is insurmountable; and the special effects (thanks to digital technology) have enabled Stallone to tell his story well while entertaining his audience at the same time.
Stallone’s direction is very good, as many of the action sequences are well edited and the timing is seamless. The duration of the film is long enough for you to get a sense of completion without dragging on too long. The story has a simple three act structure (beginning, middle and end) and is set up quickly and follows through to an excellent finale; which flows well.
Stallone has made a fine product, just like the success of his last Rocky feature; Stallone has made an action-packed thriller that has been sorely missed albeit from the politically correct world we live in. He has been able to make the genre and himself relevant again.Hide


This is a movie that would polarize viewers, except it's likely that it will only be seen by those that will enjoy it anyway. Probably one best saved for the lads rather than the girlfriend, wife, or first date.


You should know what to expect if you choose to see Rambo and this film does not disappoint. It also manages to shine a light on the plight of the people of Burma without getting up its own @$$ with messages. It's R18 for a reason so if you're squeemish, you may want to avoid.

A worthy sequel for sure.


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The Press Reviews

37% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • The film is shamelessly exploitative and manipulative in how it attempts to manoeuvre the audience to join in this celebration of violence. Full Review

  • <em>Rambo</em> could have been a satisfying romp - wherein bad dialogue and cardboard characters can be forgiven - but for the sin of making the main man step to the sidelines in favour of charisma-free fillers. Bad move, Sly... Full Review

  • The movie does have its own kind of blockheaded poetry. Full Review

  • Rambo films are, after all, about entertainment and body count and rather than dwelling on the plight of the Burmese people he prefers to set about shocking us into a numb state with as much over-the-top, gruesome and gratuitous violence as he can muster. Full Review

  • Rambo is surprisingly effective as an action movie precisely because the villains seem truly dangerous and the "mission" truly a death wish. Full Review

  • 1/2 Rambo is not what you’d generally call a ‘good movie’, but it is a ridiculously excessive exercise in cinematic brutality which goes way, way further than any fan could have hoped for. As far as no-brainer action flicks go, this is about as good as it gets folks. Full Review

  • Stallone (who looks fit but mostly keeps his shirt on) has no intention of bogging the action down, but it's still a notably cheerless exercise, without knowing winks or stabs (pardon the expression) at humor. It is in all respects, rather, a completely workmanlike effort. Full Review