Action Movie Fanatix Review: Rambo

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The Fight Continues

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Paul Schulze, Matthew Marsden, Graham McTavish, Rey Gallegos, Tim Kang, Jake La Botz, Maung Maung Khin, Ken Howard

Director: Sylvester Stallone

2008  |  91 Minutes  |  Rated R

“When you’re pushed, killing’s as easy as breathing.” – John Rambo

Before we get this thing going I should probably admit something.  I am going to be extremely, extremely biased in my reviewing of Rambo.  It is quite possibly my favorite movie of all time.

After former U.S. Soldier and Vietnam veteran John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) leads a group of missionaries into Burma, they go missing.  The pastor of the missionaries’ church hires Rambo to take a group of mercenaries into Burma to try to find the missing missionaries and save them.  John Rambo, rather than turning around and returning home, then joins the mercenaries in tracking down the Burmese soldiers that have captured the missionaries.

The first time I watched Rambo in the theater I was really shocked at how well a Rambo movie displayed a very real “real world” conflict and the atrocities of Burma.

The other thing that really impressed me was how truly great Sylvester Stallone is as an action director.  I mean, sure, the guy has been around action movies for the better part of 35 years now but that certainly doesn’t make anyone a good director.  But Stallone has a way of planning, executing and capturing action in a way that fits the scene.  Some scenes in Rambo have the dreaded shaky-cam but it was used sparingly and only in very chaotic, explosive scenes.  In scenes where one would want to actually see what was going on he made it very easy to do just that.  I have a lot of respect for his skills behind the camera and really hope that when his time is done as an action hero he spends more time as a director.

I don’t think someone would have needed to have seen the previous Rambo movies to watch Rambo but I definitely think it gives you a greater understanding of who Rambo is and how he has gotten to the place he is at right now.  In some ways John Rambo is a simple character but in other ways he has a very real story to tell.  I would love to see another Rambo movie but it would have to be done just right so as not to ruin how well this movie brought his story full circle.

Rambo is absolutely one of the most brutal action movies I have ever seen.  And it isn’t the torture porn type of violence that actually rather disgusts me.  This is really bad, bad guys getting what’s coming to them.  There are just far too many great action movie moments to mention.  Rambo throws action movie moments at its viewers like John Rambo sprays bullets from the huge jeep mounted machine gun at the end.  And the kill count is off the freakin’ charts.

My only (and I mean ONLY) gripe with Rambo is the CG blood.  There are certain moments in the movie where it just looks downright bad.

In case I haven’t been perfectly clear up to this point.  Rambo is quite simply awesome.  If for some reason you haven’t seen it, you need to.  And if you have seen it then it is probably about time you went and watched it again.

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