Sunday, January 27, 2008


Year: 2008
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Paul Schulze, Matthew Marsden

Mention the name Stallone and you'll immediately associate him with two well known movie icons. One is the boxer Rocky Balboa, the other is Vietnam war veteran John Rambo, whom Stallone has played in 3 films in the past.

In those films, Rambo was portrayed as a killing machine, being the best there is at destroying his enemies. But at the same time, Rambo is still a man underneath. A man who has grown disillusioned by the violence, yet he can't run from it forever. I am personally a big fan of this character, despite the larger than life way Stallone presents him on screen.

In the fourth and latest film, we head to Burma. Rambo is now living in northern Thailand, catching snakes and fish for the local villagers. He's finally at peace, not concerning himself with any war. One day, a small group of missionaries led by Michael (Paul Schulze) and Sarah (Julie Benz) come to meet him. They ask him to take them into Burma in order for them to deliver food and aid to the Karen people, who have been suffering at the hands of Burmese soldiers in a 60 year old civil war. At first, Rambo refuses, convinced that the group will only get themselves killed. But Sarah manages to persuade him to take them there.

Rambo successfully brings them to their destination and heads home. But as fate would have it, the Burmese soldiers ambush the Karen village and take the group hostage. The group's friends hire a band of mercenaries and ask Rambo to take them back there on a rescue mission. This is where the man himself has to get his hands dirty and take action.

Sylvester Stallone has outdone himself this time, by wearing three hats as actor, writer and director. I am happy to say that he succeeds on all 3 fronts. He plays Rambo as the tough guy who has to once again do what he does best to save innocent people. As the reluctant hero who wishes he could put his violent past behind him, Stallone scores with his words and facial expressions. As the action hero, the 61 year old actor can certainly still kick ass and take names.

Stallone also shines as director of the film. He knows what his audience wants i.e. pure unadulterated action. He piles it on in spades, and keeps the dialogue and run time short, so as not to bore us with unnecessary details. There's also plenty of unflinching violence and blood here, which isn't out of place when you think about it. Perhaps some may say that there is more violence here than the past 3 Rambo films combined, but it is well meant. Stallone had said he wanted to portray the brutality of the civil war in Burma convincingly, so that the audience can see the war as it really is. So even though the Burmese soldiers end up looking like stereotype evil men, they do a hell of a job being the meanest scum of the earth, thereby making it easier for us to watch them meet their doom in the most vile manner.

If you're a Rambo fan, go watch this. If you love action without too much drama, watch this too. It's just great stuff. As a fan, I'd say it's a fitting way to end the Rambo series. Long live Stallone. (4/5)

1 comment:

Jagger said...

It's been quite some time since i saw this but i remember the cinema was full of people from the age of 30 onward, the very people who grew up with rambo during his heydays. This character had such a big impact on the malay macho masculinity in my school.It also brings together a whole bunch of people from different backgounds and ethnicities with something common. The row in front of me was filled with banglas and they were on top of the world the whole time.

I remember one time on our boys scout field trip, one of the guys had cut open his leg or something and another said "no need to go to the cilnic, just sew it up and everything would be okay". I was thinking what the hell is wrong with this guy? later on i found out it was a scene from first blood.. And almost every one wanted to carry that rambo curved knife into the jungle. Yep, those were the days.

I really cant comment much on the recent stallone lick cause i fell asleep half way through right about when rambo was approcah by some sad looking missionaries.

I woke up when the gun battle began. Even though i like first blood and the 2nd one, this lates rambo one is just crap for me. Simply like a video game where u shoot yellow men into red sambal paste. Its just a current trend as i had siad before to show so much blood and gore. The movie also doesnt have a hot chick in it. The missionary chick isnt even as hota joan chen. Theres no tragedy element in this sequel (except rambo has balooned) like chen's death in part 2. Rambo didnt even get to get it on with that chick..

Its good if u just like to see pumped up gym freaks blowing people to pieces. I thought that movie was called the terminator.

Even the myanmaropression of the christian monority plot cant carry this turd.. If stallone wanted to make john rambo come out for one final crusade before retiring, this isnt doing it. It has not accomplished that of miller's Dark knight returns... or the Unforgiven.


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