Ken's Review: Rambo - A Final Farewell to an Old Friend
by Ken Evans
January 25, 2008
Is there anything that you thought would never be continued, even though you desperately wanted it to? When it comes to television shows and movies there are a few series that I always wanted to see carried out a bit more. Shows like Arrested Development and Firefly were shut down prematurely. However, when it comes to movies the last few years have been like a dream come true. All the series that I wanted to see continued either have been or are in the process of being made. Rocky Balboa and Live Free of Die Hard were both exceptional and it was great to see those characters brought back to life. Wednesday night another character was brought back to life and another one of my dreams was realized. John Rambo has been reborn and is as tough and insane as I remember.
Rambo takes us to the border of Burma where the longest civil war in the world is underway. A group of missionaries are looking to travel up river into Burma where there is a small village in need of medicine. It just so happens that John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) lives right outside the border and owns a boat. Although reluctant at first Rambo gives in and agrees to take them. They run into a bit of resistance but eventually they make it to the drop off point and Rambo heads back home. Within a few days the village the missionaries are at is attacked and they are taken prisoner. The pastor of their church hires Rambo and some mercenaries to go in and rescue the captives. All goes well until the Burmese military realize they are missing.
Nothing could have stopped me from seeing Rambo. He is the prime example of the action star I grew up with. In my eyes you can't do much better than First Blood and Rambo: First Blood Part II. A Vietnam Vet Green Beret who knows only two things, war and killing. In First Blood we see a man that had become such an instrument of war that he could no longer function in society. This is my favorite of the Rambo films because we get to see Rambo using all his survival skills and holding back his wrath just enough that he doesn't actually kill anyone. Rambo is much different than First Blood and reminds me much more of First Blood Part II instead.
In Rambo he brings back the mental state he had in First Blood while exhibiting the ferociousness from First Blood Part II. If he has learned anything from his life it's that the only thing that brings change in a place like Burma, Vietnam or Afghanistan is war. That is exactly what we get, a one man war between Rambo and the Burmese military. So extreme is the death that it is probably the most violent movie that I have ever seen. But when it comes to Rambo I expected nothing less. This is exactly the finale for the series that I always wanted. We needed to see John Rambo getting one last chance to exhibit his skills in war before saying goodbye to his fans.
Be warned that the violence is completely out of control, but not unrealistic. The deaths of the Burmese go from getting limbs chopped off to exploding. They didn't take any measures to try and hide any of the detail either. You get to see all the blood and limbs flying through the air. Along with the grenades and machete we get to see a sniper with a .50 caliber sniper rifle taking the top of people's heads off. They show you what a grenade will do to a human body. We finally get the action exactly as it would be. Even the beginning of the movie starts off with real footage of what Burmese soldiers do to the inhabitants there. I'll be honest that after seeing how they treat the Burmese citizens it's hard not to cheer when Rambo goes to town on the military.
Rambo gave the feeling that Stallone watched a show about the Burmese civil war and it pissed him off. So much so that this film is how he takes out his anger. Send Rambo into Burma to clean it up. I can understand that feeling and this film portrays it perfectly. I only wonder why he didn't send Rambo into Iraq to take out the terrorists.
I have to applaud Sylvester Stallone for giving us closure to his iconic characters. To be honest, Rocky V and Rambo III just didn't cut it. Even beyond that, the fact that Stallone was able to play these roles again at his age is amazing. As much as you might not want to see a 61 year old man boxing and running around a jungle killing, he does an exceptional job. I can't imagine how horrible it would be for the studio to try and resurrect these characters with out Stallone in the roles.
If you are a Rambo fan like me then this is a must see. If you love action films this will make you happy and take you back to the original action flicks that are, in my opinion, still the best. However, if you didn't like the previous Rambo movies then stay away. You will hate Rambo immensely. This is just a closure to the series and a look back to the way action films used to be made. I loved it but definitely not everyone will. Check it out if you're already a fan, otherwise be warned.
Reader Feedback - 28 Comments
Alex ...never say Final Rambo ... even if they killed Rambo in the movie ...remember that his soul will be back ...and revenge .... 🙂 I am just kidding .... The movie looks good in the Trailer ...just want to remind Alex that Rocky had 2 movies as an end for the sequel Rambo 5 and Rocky Balboa .... Rambo have more people to kill in Iraq and Iran ... then he will make another two 🙂
shero on Jan 25, 2008
Hopefully it is just as good at Rocky Balboa...I really enjoyed that movie...besides the fact that his eyebrows dont move anymore.
pFox on Jan 25, 2008
i hope its good
Darrin on Jan 25, 2008
Its good fellas, real good. The violence was fantastic, and the fact that it happened to mostly Burmese punks makes you love it! Probably the best $10 you will spend in the movies this year until Indiana comes out in May.
Chrisbo on Jan 25, 2008
I went into this thinking it would be awful and instead it turned out to be awesome. I reviewed it on my site and gave it 4.5/5. Brutal, yes, but if you can handle it, it's an awesome end to the franchise. Vic
ScreenRant.com on Jan 25, 2008
I like coming to this blog for movie news and trailers. But after this post, I am taking every review with a grain of salt from now on. After having seen "Rocky Balboa" described as "exceptional" in this post... I've come to learn that the author of this site is simply a fanboy of movies in general. I wish there were more real reviews on this site. You know - it's ok to say a movie is terrible. It seems like everything is just given two thumbs up around here, just because it's simply a movie.
John on Jan 25, 2008
Dude, this movie is going to be f'in atrocious. Just look at Stallone in the pictures you posted... he looks like my damn grandad.
Nate on Jan 25, 2008
I wouldn't call Die Hard 4 "exceptional", I would call it pg-13 crap, even the unrated version sucks donkey balls. But after having watched Rambo I think the word "exceptional" can be used. The movie is not great, but it is Rambo. It's a balls to the walls action movie, and it does it good. When I turn 62 I hope I'm in half the shape Sly is. ***Spoiler*** When was the last time you watched a nuke blow up a forrest full of soldiers, as cheesy as that scene is, you just gotta love it 🙂 ***Spoiler End*** I'd give it 7-8/10. Great fun!!!
Enola on Jan 26, 2008
The most powerful RAMBO movie of them all, eh? (tapping fingertips together a-la Mr. Burns) "EX-cellent!" David Morrell, author of FIRST BLOOD and RAMBO (he didn't write the subsequent novels) had this to say about the upcoming RAMBO sequel back in 2005. The early ideas and scripts that they showed to David in the 1990s weren't just bad, they were hideously bad! http://creepers.feoamante.net/Morrell/Rambo.html
Feo Amante on Jan 26, 2008
Awesome flick!! I tip my hat to Sly Stallone for: 1.) Bringing back another iconic character back to the screen; 2.) Taking full responsibility for writing, directing, and starring. (.just like Rocky Balboa);and 3.) For giving fans of the series and action fans alike, a kick-ass, no-holds barred-rated R action flick. I'm sure that many detractors will find something to gripe about (no surprise here), but Stallone did "Rambo" justice by giving us what a "Rambo" movie should be!! I'll spoil nothing as I highly recommended it! It will be interesting to see what else Sly does in the future or who else he brings back(like, Cobra; there's current talk about updating Charles Bronson's "Death Wish") It is great to see my favorite action stars coming back for another round( Willis-Die Hard 4, Harrison Ford-Indiana Jones, Arnold - T-3); the original action stars that I grew up watching!!! Way to go Sly!!
Oscar on Jan 26, 2008
I SAW IT TWO TIMES IN ONE DAY THAT HOW GOOD ITS TO ME AND I WILL I ALWAYS BE A FAN OF SLY, YOU ARE A GREAT ACTOR AND I WILL BE LOOKING OUT FOR YOU IN SOMETHING ELSE, BY THE WAY I'M 63 AND COUNTING SO DON'T KEEP ME WAITING!
EDDIE NORWOOD JR on Jan 26, 2008
Respect to all the Rambo fans here. I'm a little jealous b/c I won't be seeing it till tomorrow night. This is why we used to go to the movies back in the day. Stallone still looks Yoked. He doesn't look like any Grandad I've ever seen. Go get em' Stallone.
Sinner on Jan 26, 2008
That guy he's stabbing in the second picture.... is he the same guy who got exploded by rambo's arrow 20 years ago?
John on Jan 26, 2008
Just have to say that this Movie is everything a Rambo Movie should be.. Was great... Anyone who is a fan of action movies, Go see it.. If you someone who wants plot, story, Oscar winning acting Stay away, you will just think this movie is dumb. Spoiler*** No it was not a NUKE that they blew up in the movie....
David on Jan 27, 2008
I need to chime in here. Best.Action.Ever. That was everything it should have been to be a Rambo movie.
Andrew on Jan 27, 2008
I agree with most posts and the review here. Rambo is what it is... a movie about a bad-ass mofo ripping Burmese throats out. No Oscar nominations needed on this one. I can't clump it together with Balboa because that flick was God awful. I couldn't make it through that movie even after telling myself, "You've made it this far... just a lil' more." This is not the case with Rambo's latest, however. Great violence... action... explosions... It's what every kid growing up watching the previous installations (or even playing the NES game) could ask for. I have no problem telling someone to check it out. Again, it is what it is... great entertainment. It's what we as movie enthusiasts generally go to the cinema for. Anyone going into this with the Academy checklist in hand... don't bother.
C-Young on Jan 28, 2008
I saw this movie this past weekend. It ROCKED! It was awesome, lots of blood, guts, gore. It's up there, but it does give you a tough idea of what life is really like today in Burma. Loved the ending. Good way to end the series.
Cassandra on Jan 29, 2008
Ditto with most of the above. This is the most fun I've had @ the movies since Tombstone. No joke. Stallone ripped it. To those talkin' sh!t on his age; you know he could beat your ass with one arm tied behind him. Can you say Yoked?!
Sinner on Jan 29, 2008
Best movie ever...expecially most most violence movie.. You will not stop talking about him after see this movie when come out from theatre. Sly is great even though at 61 years old. who gives 8/10 if me, i wil give 10/10. The sounds mindblowing.. look him when one of the meceneries make joke about him..same emotion in last rambo movies..dare to film n star in this age in action flick!!!!! Sly's ruleeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!
Gana on Jan 30, 2008
You've already shown you're biased about the film, therefore you aren't a good person to review. Just your saying "nothing could've stopped me from seeing it!" is enough for me to realize what you're going to write. I loved the first three films, but part 4 is just slow, boring and pointless. Great special effects for the killing scenes, and that's the only thing the film has going for it. 3/10. Reality check.
CommadoElite on Jan 31, 2008
Holy sh*t! Did you watch the movie while blindfolded? Slow? Boring? I honestly don't believe you even saw Rambo. You need to change your name to something else. "Commando Elite" does not suit you. Maybe "Blind As a Bat" would be more fitting. ...and part 3 was horrible. What's wrong with you?
Sinner on Jan 31, 2008
As i ditnot watch the rambo 1 and rambo 2 movies, but i am a great fan of stallone, because of his body, muscles, action, acting, everything his looks, so, i personally whole heatedly request him to come to india and visit hyderabad as early as possible, as we welcome him whole heatedly, to add more to this, i request him personally to work in indian bollywood industry (cinema) , as far as movie john rambo is concerned , i like to watch n number of times, as it is a story about killing of the innocent people by the burmese military forces. as everyone knows the military is for the defence of that concerned nation, but these people misuse there power on the innocent people , killing them and then making them as slaves, etc., so rambo comes to the rescue of the common or the poor people and finishes the evils. as rambo like people should also rescue the people of india, from the terriorist clustes of pakistan and afganistan, and should come up in life.
K. SURESH KUMAR on Jan 31, 2008
http://thebigbadfilmreview.blogspot.com/ Alternate Title: Rambo-4 arms Ram-Bore This film had such a weak story line it could only be strung out for an hour and a half. It basically concerns a group of christian missionaries being held hostage in Burma, and Rambo, along with a group of mercenaries, being contracted by a Pastor to free them. Rambo 4 is in stark contrast to the other Rambos where he muscle posed his way to self glory. In this film, however, he must have been too self conscious of his love handles and sausage veins that the central focus of Rambo, and his character as a whole for that matter, was his forearms. The Burmese soldiers were portrayed as verminous killing scum who feed live people to pigs, and Sly even makes further propaganda swipes at Burmese generals by portraying the one in this movie as a raper of young boys. The killing is so gratuitous and lustful, you wonder what kind of sick, sado-masterbatory audience could enjoy this snuff movie. Rambo manages to effortlessly kill everybody in every imaginable way, and would have encountered more resistance had the Burmese army been replaced by a bunch of grannies armed with knitting needles and balls of wool. And where the hell he manages to find , in the middle of the jungle, some kind of huge, thermo-nuclear device to detonate at short notice is any one's guess. This abomination of a movie further insult by trying to add believability to this sado-wet dream, by allowing Rambo to get a slight nick from a bullet to his shoulder in the last minutes of the film, as he's mopping up the final remaining Burmese 'skittle' soldiers. It was a pity Rambo's Kernel is no longer alive as he was the real star of the Rambo franchise and provided the only hint of class and proper acting. Anyone claiming this was just a bit of fun should watch again the actual footage of the suffering of the Burmese people shown at the beginning of this film, appreciate how Sly has tried to glorify himself at their expense, and then should proceed straight to the doctors and have their brains checked out for advanced syphilis.
Moriarte on Feb 27, 2008
Ok, it isn't Shakespeare and if you are looking for a touching piece of intimate human drama set against a backdrop of social housing this won't be your bag. If however you enjoyed the trilogy (as I did) and are a fan, stop what you are doing and go and check it out now. I thought the film was fantastic. Sly gets a lot of stick but he co-wrote, starred in and directed this film. He has managed to wrestle the title of most visceral battle scene from the likes of Steven Speilberg no less, yet will he get any credit? No of course not. Nothing but sneering contempt from a bunch of chin rubbing liberals who find a comedy about teenage pregnancy far more entertaining. Stallone showed courage in steadfastedly gunning for an R/18 rating and sod the impact on box office dollar, for giving his fans what they wanted (something George Lucas wasn't capable of doing) and delivering a refreshing shot in the arm of action films that were stagnating in their own pomposity. Sly has done for the action film what Tony Jaa/Ong Bak did for martial arts films. There are action scenes in this which are gritty, visceral, bloody and exhilarating. Seriously, this doesn't pull its punches in showing how a .50 calibre machine gun can tear up a battlefield. I thoroughly enjoyed it and even though I know admitting it makes me out to be some kind of psychotic, I don't care. It's a kick arse, balls out action film. Nice work Sly, we still love you big guy.
Payne by name on Feb 29, 2008
Fuck you moriarte. That movie was awesome and you're just pissed off that you got a broom shoved up your ass at the ymca at age seven. Sly could kill you with his thoughts, but he'd rather shoot a thousand rounds of lead through your dumb face because that would suck for you more.
Fuck moriarte on Mar 3, 2008
Well...I'm guessing you've had more than a broom or two up yours...anyway your biggest mistake was saying Rambo could kill me with his thoughts when everyone knows he doesn't get any, although he can manage a grunt occasionaly,as seen in this terriblel film! Moriarte recommends sending tough talking Rambo4 fans to Burma, now that they are all so hard , and see how long it is before they wet their pants like the little pansies they are..
Moriarte on Mar 4, 2008
Was that an insult Moriarte?. You start a Rambo review with - This film has such weak story line- i didnt realy had to read more, this is a rambo movie dude!. Its like going to se Day of the Dead and slaughter the movie becouse it wasnt any love scenes in it, comon man!.
Samba on May 6, 2008
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Alison on May 28, 2008
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