Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Matthew Marsden
Directed by: Sylvester Stallone
Written by: Sylvester Stallone, Art Monterastelli
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 32 min
On paper the idea of another Rambo movie in 2008, when Stallone was 61 years old, seemed absolutely ridiculous. But the fourth, and presumably the last adventure for Rambo brings the series and the character full circle, so it’s fitting that Stallone chose to direct, and the results are surprising good.
Rambo this time around has gone beyond brooding about the past and the country and government that used and forgot him. He’s full of rage and ready to explode, and it’s actually kinda-cool to watch Stallone take the character in this direction.
This last installment is all about John Rambo, and his need to exorcise his demons. Sure there’s a plot centered around saving missionaries in Burma, but this film’s story and characters just felt like window dressing to me. Rambo is not battling a named villain we need to pay attention to as he did in the other movies, his battle is more internal and the cathartic release of all his rage is demonstrated in the incredibly violent ways people are killed in this movie.
I’ll say this again because it bares repeating, Rambo is incredibly violent! People are not just shot, they are at times vaporized by gun fire! Blood and body parts fly, and the action is really brutal. Despite the deeper points I believe this film was trying to make, it is let down a little by some cheesy dialog, and a couple of over the top performances from some of the supporting cast. If you like your action movies however, Rambo is a must see.
Rambo has some stunning visuals, and the director of photography Glen MacPherson does a great job capturing the settings around Thailand. If a theater were screening this I suggest watching this on the big screen. At home a HD showing on your TV is recommended. Watching this on anything smaller will reduce the movies impact.
Best Moment: << mild spoiler >>
While some other mercenaries take cover, Rambo takes on a small group of Burmese soldiers with his trusty bow and arrow. This scene in the movie is really nicely filmed and edited, and it was great to watch Stallone in action again!