Wednesday, June 18, 2008
As a child of the 80's, I was raised on Arnold, Chuck, and Stallone. The first three Rambo's occupy spots on my DVD shelf and are for me a national treasure. Thou shalt not speak ill of Rambo in my house. With that being said, I was pretty pumped when Netflix delivered the newest addition to the series. I knew in my head not to expect too much coz after all its been 20 years since Rambo 3.
The fourth film finds out disallusioned vet working in some shit infested town along a river outside of Burma. Two missionaries (The Soprano's Paul Schultz and Dexter's Julie Benz) hire John to take them up river to help the people of Burma. Rambo warns the do-gooders that the only help the people need is guns. Of course, our hero's prediction comes true and the missionaries are caught up by the local military. So what's a killing machine to do? That's right... kill ever fucking Burmese soldier around and save Dexter's girlfriend.
R4 was directed by Sly himself... which explains why a lot of the killing is done by some mercs he knows. Matthew Marsden earns a top spot in the mercs no doubt due to his awesome performance in Anacondas 2....or not. The main problem is that Rambo has always been about one man versus everyone. This film seems to acknowledge the fact Stallone is getting old and lets some nameless characters have most of the fun. The action scenes are probably the most graphic you are ever going to watch. Limbs and heads explode everywhere... Dawn of the Dead has nothing on Rambo. Even the bad guys aren't established in any real way to get you rooting against them. For a film trying to create a "message" about the atrocities they sure don't spend a lot of time on that.
So I guess you'll enjoy Rambo 4 based on your expectations. If you are looking for a mindless action film with lots shit blowing up - you will probably like it. However, if you are looking for that same magic in the first 3 - that's not hanging around here.