Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz
Rambo: When you’re pushed, killin’s easy as breathin’.
John Rambo (Stallone) is living in Thailand catching snakes and being a generally helpful guy. He is approached by a group of Christian aid workers who want him to drive them up river to Burma in his boat so they can help the people in a remote village. “Is this where I start killing everybody?” No Mr. Rambo, not yet. He gives them a ride, leaves them there, the village is attacked, and they are kidnapped. “How ’bout now?” No John, just wait please. Now the church they’re from hires a team of mercenaries to go in and extract the captured workers, but they need Rambo’s boat again. He drives the mercenaries there, they get the prisoners out – with Rambo’s help, of course – and then are on the run from an entire army who wants to kill them. “NOW I get to kill everybody, right?” Yes Rambo, time to do your stuff!
Having just seen District 9 the day before, I left thinking that movie was pretty darned violent. Well, I hadn’t seen anything yet. This movie is almost wall to wall exploding heads, sheared body parts, and various other maimings. In the world of Rambo, if you are shot in the head, not only does it explode like a cantaloupe dropped from 10 stories high, but your body will also go flying 20 feet through the air as well.
Obviously Stallone wanted to shock the audience by showing violence on women and children too. When the village is raided, we see kids shot at point blank range in a very graphic manner. No doubt this kind of thing happens all the time in the world, but it does not make for a pleasant viewing experience. I guess that’s the point, but there seems to be a bit of a miscalculation here. There’s SO MUCH violence that those particularly shocking moments just blur right into the rest of the death and mayhem and barely even become an afterthought.
The night time hostage extraction was the best part of the movie, in my opinion. They effectively built some good tension, and it was good to see the mercenaries were actually capable of doing the job. Usually in a movie like this, they’d all get killed off and then Rambo would be the one man army. He’s still the dominant force, but at least the mercenaries can hold their own.
Thankfully, the movie is only an hour and 20 minutes long, so it doesn’t overstay its welcome. Believe me, that was plenty of time to wear me out with all the violence. Interestingly, there’s about 10 minutes of credits. I didn’t keep watching to see why the credits were that long, but I assume it was either to pad the movie out to a full hour and a half, or they just needed to list the 5,000 extras that exploded during the making of the film.
Don’t go to Burma. Just don’t.
10 – 1.6 for being so unpleasant – 1.4 for standard set up at beginning – .9 for not really getting across the point it’s trying to make = 6.1