RAMBO WARRIOR MOVIE REVIEW: “Rambo” stars Sylvester Stallone (Antz, Creed), Julie Benz (Dexter [TV series, Defiance [TV series]), Matthew Marsden (Resident Evil: Extinction, Black Hawk Down), Graham McTavish (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Aquaman), Rynaldo Gallegos (Logan, American Sniper), Tim Kang (Two Weeks Notice, The Forgotten), Jake La Botz (Ghost World, Animal Factory), Muang Muang Khin (The Lady), and Paul Schulze (24 [TV series], Panic Room). It is directed by Sylvester Stallone, who also wrote it with Art Monterastelli (The Hunted, Buried Alive). After a group of missionaries are taken prisoner in a war-torn Burma, John Rambo (Stallone) faces the ultimate test of whether he should fight once more to save them or not.
“Live for nothing, or die for something.” The days of shirtless Stallone are behind us guys, as we voyage into the final installment of the Rambo franchise (or so we thought until a new one was announced). John Rambo is now living out in Thailand, catching snakes and taking it easy; it’s what the war veteran should be doing, considering all the crap he’s gone through. But, his peace comes to an end when he decides to rescue missionaries who get taken prisoner in the war zone that is Burma. War is in his blood, it’s what he’s built to do, as the mantra of this feature exclaims, and we get to see Stallone bust a cap on all the Thailand baddies in this story that sees a lot more bloodshed than the previous three installments. Seriously guys, the filmmakers of this went all out on the special effects work, showing dismemberment, blood splattering, and just utter, bloody chaos. Clearly, they wanted to go a step above what was achieved in the older Rambo flicks, in a pre-Tarantino world, and I honestly thought it worked in their favor. “Rambo” is a gruesome, unforgiving film that takes what was said in the previous movies and redefines it. John Rambo is all but defeated; as a character, he’s lost all hope in humanity, as war will always be rampant and there is nothing they can do to stop it. However, he is thrown back on the horse when he accepts who he is: a cold-blooded war machine. He was built that way, and it was only a matter of time until he realized it. A lot of crap takes place in this flick regarding the action. It’s pretty messed up to watch unfold as there are quite a bit of disgusting sequences. But, it’s how war really is, and it only added to the rawness of this fourth entry. Surprisingly, Stallone directed this outing, and showcased his skill for crafting action sequences quite strongly. I think he made a solid effort, all while still retaining his role and performing it to the best of his abilities. The rest of the performances were alright; nothing too special, but they got the job done. I wouldn’t say I saw any bright talent in this, though I think they did a serviceable effort that didn’t hinder the experience. The story itself was also serviceable. I think it was better than the previous two flicks, primarily because of its edginess and how everything comes to a head for Rambo. He’s completely an outsider to these people, just like in the first film, yet he gets involved due to new revelations and the overall need to save people in need. Through every battle, I was wanting Rambo to succeed, rather than just sitting back and watching him take out baddies with a glaze over my eyes (granted, I did enjoy the action set pieces in all of these movies). Something about his advanced age and wanting to do what others can’t made for a more refreshing experience, as if I was watching “Rocky Balboa” after finishing the first five features. However, “Rambo” isn’t as good as Rocky’s final outing, namely because it’s story is really just Rambo going in and saving missionaries. For about the last forty minutes of the experience, it’s nothing but blood and guts; if you’re in the mood for just a straight action, this is the one for you. Unlike the older Rambo movies, this one gives all of the development in the first act, with no breaks in the final two to give pause between the action. The bad guys had no monologues, no quarrel with Rambo, nor with the mercs that aided Rambo in saving the missionaries. They were warring within their own country and spoke a different language, so any exchange between Rambo and them was brief. I don’t need the repetitive talks bad guys can bring about their effort, but I would’ve like some development behind them so that there would be a bigger set of stakes. They were just ruthless dudes who did bad stuff (raped, pillaged, killed, the whole nine yards). Regardless of this fact though, I still was entertained by “Rambo.” It’s better than the previous two movies because of its return to form and further development of Rambo, and the gruesome action plays into the rough, raw feel that Stallone wanted to achieve through making this project. I’d say he succeeded in that regard. FINAL SCORE: 74%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: