Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Rambo back with a bang!

John J. Rambo may have been out of sight for like 20 years since Rambo III, but not out of mind, in the minds of people who crave action movies. It was obvious when Sylvester Stallone returned to bookend the Rocky franchise that he still had what it took and would naturally return to conclude the story of Rambo as well.

Well he did - and what a magnificent result it was. Many joked that Stallone was now 60 and he did the previous Rambo movie at 40 so he was going to be killing people with a Zimmer-frame. Not so, Stallone has himself pumped so full of the human growth hormone Jinotropin; he doesn't look even 50 on screen so it'll be a while before the Zimmer-frame is required.

Rambo III highlighted the plight of the (as the dedication read at the end) "The Gallant People Of Afghanistan", specifically the resistance of the Mujahedeen against the Russian occupation. 20 years later: the political landscape is vastly different and so Sylvester Stallone directed his attention - and the reins of the movie to the crisis in Burma which escalated last year.

John Rambo is now in Thailand enjoying a simple life of a hunter for a snake farm but is drawn into the brutal conflict in nearby Burma as he ferries a group of holy-Joe do-gooder volunteers into the country to administer first-aid and education to a people who are deprived from it by their own government. Then the fun starts!

From Wikipedia:
According to the 1990 Guinness World Records, 'Rambo III is the most violent film with 221 acts of violence, at least 70 explosions, and over 108 characters killed on-screen. However, the body count of the fourth Rambo movie surpassed the record. In comparison, Rambo holds the record with the most kills out of the entire Rambo series, with 236 kills and an average of 2.59 kills per minute.

And you see them all, in all their glory. The blood, Dear God, the blood! Stallone had obviously been thinking about this for some time, this was undoubtedly a pet-project for him for many years it shows in every scene lovingly paced with Rambo always central to the proceedings.

In many ways however, it was different from all 3 previous Rambo's. Sadly Richard Crenna died of cancer in 2003 (Stallone would have easily shoehorned him into even this most basic of plots) but Colonel Trautman was able to appear via a flashback/dream sequence which was just as satisfying. Jerry Goldsmith died of cancer in 2004 but the memorable Rambo theme was used by the very capable Brian Tyler when composing his brilliant score for this movie. Finally, Rambo no longer possessed his stainless combat knife and instead created his own machete during the course of the movie.

Final Verdict: The sheer violence is glorious. Not a single death is overdone or is unnecessary to the plot or purpose of this movie, a masterpiece of action-porn.

Colonel Creedon Rating: *****+


5 comments:

Cubaboy said...

Is that Maria Bello in the picture above, if so does she get her tits/fanny out on this film as she does in every other film she's ever been in.....not that I'm complaining you understand. I just wonder what'll she do when she's 60, will she still be getting her wrinkled auld minge out then?????

Aaron said...

Apparently Empire are getting a lot of bad comments on its forum because it only gave Rambo 2 stars.

Lt. Colonel Creedon said...

@ Cubaboy! No. That's Julie Benz, a far more "respectable" actress then Ms. "Pants-off" Bello.

Hey! Was that you beeping at me on the Model Farm Road yesterday?

@ Aaron: Empire is gone to shit. With superior and more well written reviews online no, the days of overpriced printed magazines is coming to an end. I think Premiere stopped publishing last year?

Cubaboy said...

Yes it was....and a cursory wave wouldn't go a miss in future. I didn't momentarily move my hand off my balls and press the horn for nothing you know!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wait a second Colonel didn't you go to Jumper and National treasure 2 , why haven't you put these reviews up...has Sam Jackson Failed you? is that why?is it? hmmmm!