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Rambo (2008)

October 2, 2009

VERDICT:
7/10 Hardcore Retirements

I don’t know whether to be proud or ashamed that this is probably the only movie I’ve seen on its first showing on its opening day while sporting a mean hangover that would normally confine me to a day in bed with The Price is Right, but then again, this is freakin’ Rambo we’re talking about here. No way was Drew Carey and a vice grip around my brain gonna hold be back from seeing this one.

Rambo finds our man Johnny maxin’ and relaxin’ in a slum village in Thailand of all places, playing with snakes for money, transporting crap into Burma on his dingy, and apparently shooting up a wildly unhealthy amount of steroids just to make sure no one forgets how many veins he has on his arms. Then one day these Christian aid workers convince Rambo to take them into war-torn Burma, they get kidnapped, so he grabs his trusty machete, shoots up some more ‘roids for good measure, and more or less proceeds to single-handedly kill every bad guy in Burma, and there are a lot of bad dudes in Burma.

If the other two Rambo movies weren’t indication enough, this plot synopsis should surprise no one. There’s not much thinking to be done here, nor is there much of a story, but, boy howdy, would you just look at that body count rise. But mindless violence aside, this movie is surprisingly closer in feel to First Blood than the other two sequels were; then again, that might not be saying much considering how different Rambo: First Blood Part II was from its predecessor. Rambo is actually not entirely an excuse to blow more people up with explosive arrows as the story has a politically charged backing to it, you know, about Burmese genocide and whatnot (the politics of which are pretty questionable to begin with). But let’s not get ahead ourselves here, this is still no First Blood; I don’t think there’ll ever be another First Blood.

Anyway, I digress.

Even though I still haven’t gotten around to seeing Rambo III, I think it’s more than safe to say that Rambo is without a doubt the most violent entry in the franchise. The action scenes are all insane, and while the violence is beyond over-the-top, arguably to the point where it puts Kill Bill: Volume 1 to shame, it’s not really a turn-off because it’s all expected. No one’s walking in to this movie aiming to get a lesson on American diplomacy in Burma, you’re sittin’ down to see how many crazy ways Rambo can take people out with that machete of his, and shit does get crazy.

The acting is whatever, the writing isn’t as corny as the other Rambos, and unfortunately, I don’t think the storyline is doing any favors for Burma’s tourism either. But it is a damn good reminder that Sylvester Stallone still kicks total ass at 62. It’s not the best thing he’s done in his career, as an actor or an action hero, but it’s hard for me to not see the appeal to John Rambo’s bloody, triumphant return.

Probably a top contender for worst date movie of all time, but if your main squeeze just happens to be into guy movies that could pass for meat grinders, then say hello to Rambo all you lovebirds out there.

SIDE NOTE:
Shout out to Paul over at Paragaph Film Reviews for bringing this badass Rambo chart to my attention that tallies up the body count stats amongst the various entries in the series. Quite enlightening indeed.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 2, 2009 3:44 am

    Thought you’d appreciate the full breakdown of Rambo destruction!

  2. Marc permalink
    October 2, 2009 11:15 am

    For an addition to a franchise that seemed too little too late (and dead possibly), this showed us all that (like Rocky) Stallone can be down but not out. This was one kick-ass all out flick!! Looking back now, it gives me even more and more hope that ‘The Expendables’ could be…wait for it…”The Greatest Action Movie Ever Made”…but that’s just me:P

  3. mcarteratthemovies permalink
    October 2, 2009 2:03 pm

    Aiden, a man has to do what a man has to do — and that includes braving DTs to see Stallone breath hard and kick ass! The same goes for chicks, so I am not ashamed to say that I saw “Rambo” on opening night. I was surrounded by dudes giving me funny looks, like I’d crashed the party, but no way was I missing this.

    Though “Rambo” wasn’t as good as “First Blood,” I thought it would have been a fitting end to the franchise.

  4. Ishmael Boylebodie permalink
    November 22, 2009 6:35 pm

    I walked into Rambo 3 expecting to get a lesson in American diplomacy in Afghanistan, and I wasn’t disappointed. Please watch it and write a review!

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