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*** Official RAMBO Review Thread (1 Viewer)

UHDvision

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Fans will go apeshit. Richard Crenna is actually in this ! Don't ask me how, see for yourself.

I just saw a preview screening of Rambo, it's an amazing film. It mixes elements of Rambo 1-3 with some influence of all the Rambo carbon copies made in europe in the 80's (especially the gory parts). The result is the second best film of the series, it features violence like you have never quite seen before in a war picture. Bullets makes head explodes. Corpses are cut in half. There's even a James Cameron like moment when a bomb goes off, it's astonishing. Everyone in the theater stepped out grinning from ear to ear. it's that good. Stallone did it again !
 

Mark Hawley

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I saw it and like it pretty much.

The film seems awfully brief. Rambo II and III come across as epic in comparison. Of course you can construe that a good thing both since I felt I wanted more and it's only a little shorter than those two movies.

There was also too much shaky cam and that shutter speed trick that gives every a jerky motion. I swear it's even there in non-action scenes.

And I don't think I've ever seen a more violent R-rated film. Man it's crazy! How it got by the MPAA I don't know.

A neat thing, though it just maybe sensibilities, is the way the violence feels. For the first half, it's all atrocities afflicted on innocents, and it's very brutal. I felt a little physically ill, and believe me, I feel I have a very strong nerve regarding onscreen violence.

But the last half was amazing, It's graphic as hell, but I found myself enjoying the hell out of it. Every head that's shot off, or half off, every gaping hole that's shot out of someone, every person cut in half by a 20mm cannon, every slit stomach, every arrow shot through someones chin, made me want to jump up and cheer!

It's really something to behold. It makes the eighties action films look like Sesame Street. It's not a return to form, it transcends the form!
 

DavidPla

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Saw it! Thought it was a great action film! Thought it was a great Rambo film! Perfect bookend with First Blood just as Rocky Balboa was the perfect bookend to Rocky. I would rate just a tad below First Blood but WAY ahead of Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rambo III.

1. First Blood
2. Rambo
3. Rambo: First Blood Part II
4. Rambo III
 

Quentin

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Oh, I think Rambo II is far better than this film.

Though, I did enjoy it a bit. The violence is over-the-top crazy, and it's simple. But...it's too simple. Too short. There's no meat there.
 

Chris Atkins

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Pretty much sums it up, I think. The message is simple but it is there. When the movie focuses on Rambo it works; when it focuses on the missionaries it doesn't. But I did have a good time watching it.
 

Chris Farmer

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This is a bare minimum action movie, and all the better for it. There's not one extra bit of material in the movie. Plot, character development, and dialogue serves nothing more to give the characters motivations and make the audience like (or at least not despise) or hate them as needed. After that it's Rambo doing his thing, and what a thing it is. This is just a pure adrenaline rush; a balls-to-the-wall action thriller that wants to go back when heroes didn't need amnesia and tortured souls and voyages of self-discovery. Rambo's self discovery occurs when he forges a machete. Nothing more needs to be said. If you know what you're getting, then there's no way you'll be disappointed.
 

WadeM

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This was much more enjoyable than the embarrassingly sentimental trip down memory lane Rocky Balboa. It's just a good ol' fashioned action flick. Some people here say the movie was too quick but, hey, time flies when you're having fun!
 

TravisR

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I thoroughly enjoyed it. They didn't water the movie down to get teenagers in the seats (though I do understand the need for that when you have a movie that has a $150 million) and just went balls out. It's not Shakespeare but if you want violent action, this movie gives it to you. And as others have mentioned, I was just a nice feeling of nostalgia seeing Rambo again.

Unfortunately, the ad campaign was so bad that I can only imagine that not that many people will be seeing this movie.
 

Nathan Eddy

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(*Spoiler alert*)

I saw it with my 15-yr-old son. Great guys' night out!

Make no mistake: this is bloody, gory, graphic sh*t. However, I think that it's too easy to dismiss the movie on this basis. There is a story amid all the violence. It's a simple story, but it's there.

If you don't know , it's about some Christian missionaries who want to help the tragically oppressed people of Burma. They try to enlist Rambo's help, and he tells them, "You ain't going change anything." When Rambo says it, you believe it. He's speaking from experience. He knows a thing or two about war and oppression.

But of course, these people are bleeding heart types who believe in the power of hope, and aren't daunted. The first pivotal moment in the movie is when Rambo gets convinced to help. It's kind of subtle, and it happens quickly. But it's a moment that will have you thinking after the movie is over. The movie, like Rambo, isn't big on speeches. It says what it needs to say, without beating you over the head with it. It might even seem a little too easy, a little too simple. But you've got to listen to the silences. Some of the best moments are when Rambo doesn't speak, refuses to speak.

So he helps them, even though he thinks it's hopeless. And what you might expect to happen, happens. The sh*t hits the fan. The bleeding hearts do some bleeding. Along with whole villages of innocent people. This is where the violence is most effective. This isn't Ahnolt blowing people up with an accented one-liner. This stuff is real, brutal, and heart breaking. It makes all the violence to come (yes, this is just a prelude) seem perfectly justifiable, and not gratuitous at all. These people definitely get what's coming to them. Oh, and people in Burma really are being slaughtered. So this small peek into their plight is just heart wrenching. The baby being ripped out of a mother's arms and being tossed into a burning building like a piece of trash was particularly disturbing.

So, as you might expect, Rambo has to save the day. And he does. There are some nice character moments in all the mayhem. Mercenaries can actually be good guys. And there's one almost-ridiculous moment where Rambo slips into MacGyver mode. But it's so badass I give it a pass. (Bomb.)

But the most interesting thing about the movie happens at the end. There's a "coming full circle" scene. But what's interesting about this scene isn't how it mirrors the first Rambo movie, down to that same damn duffle bag and army jacket. But it's how the repeated phrase, "You're not going to change anything" is proven false. It's not in the way you'd expect . . . the missionaries don't actually do any good in Burma. But one of them actually changes this cold-hearted, pessimistic, loner, war-machine from the 70s. He decides to go home and reconnect with his father. Cheesy? Maybe if it were overdone. But this was subtle enough that you might miss it if you were merely focusing on how his wardrobe had come full circle. Smile

Fantastic movie. I had a blast. If anything, it was too short and moved too quickly. I wish there had been more character moments. There were some quiet times, but not enough. I felt like some of it was too rushed.

I'll leave you with . . . you never knew bullets could do that to people . . .
 

Patrick Sun

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Rambo's back, and the film pulls no punches when it comes to violence, and the nature of conflict and oppression. The carnage almost goes to cartoonish extremes in the last 20 minutes of the film, trying to ride that line between the grosteque and the ridiculous, and ultimately it descends into the land of absurd and brutality, giving the die-hard Rambo fan what they came to see. But Stallone does do some character building with Rambo and his interaction between the missionaries who enlist his aid to deliver medical supplies and reading materials, and then later with another group of mercenaries. So, it's not a totally mindless romp through Burma, but, literally, Rambo takes no prisoners in this final installment of the Rambo franchise.

I give it 2.5 stars, or a grade of C+.
 

Chris Tedesco

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Saw this Friday and loved it. Never thought I could say this about another Rambo movie. Definately better than any of them except First Blood.

Going to see it again no doubt.
 

Chuck Mayer

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Several points...I was never a huge Rambo fan (even with Jim Cameron being one of the writers of II), but I was in the mood for an old-school action film.

And I got Rambo, which isn't terribly old school. It's one of the goriest things I've ever seen, and parts of it are remarkably uncomfortable. But I have to admit, it was tight, sharp, and controlled.

1) Amazingly, Stallone found the worse bad guys imaginable. Usually you trot out the swastika when you want to make it easy...Stallone just put almost every horrific atrocity imaginable into a few minutes. Ordinarily I'd complain, but I bet people look at Burma (or any junta) a little bit different now. Which makes the over-the-top grotesquery almost admirable.

2) This movie had the most bass of any film I've EVER seen on the big screen.

3) The action scenes did get extreme, but that was the movie they made. Most of those weapons are that horrific, so might as well go whole hog. Besides, I always enjoy a .50 caliber sniper rifle. Especially when it decaps not one, but two a-holes. And arrows to the neck are still in style. Always.

4) I'd see a Rambo V. While this film wasn't terribly thoughtful or brilliantly made, it was primal and sincere and gorrific. Every now and then, it's nice to get a real R-rated action porn film. Throwing in a little (and it is only a little, but that's better than Val Verde) topicality won't make me complain either.

Chris said it best.
I did see the Narnia trailer before this...cross-marketing?!?! :)
 

Robert Crawford

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This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Rambo". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.



Crawdaddy
 

Ruz-El

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Great film and should be seen by more people then just those who like Rambo movies. 4.5/5
 

Brett_M

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I enjoyed the hell out of it. My second fave of the series behind First Blood. I was shocked and awed by the sheer audactity of the gore. There were some "wow" momemts and some "did I just see that?" moments. Not for the squeemish. Loved the music.

Score as a Stallone flick?

4.5/5

Score as a movie?

3/5

Will I buy it on DVD?

You bet your ass.
 

42nd Street Freak

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Rambo (2007) - aka "John Rambo"

Dir: Sylvester Stallone


A group of Christian missionaries, lead by Sarah Miller (Julie Benz, “Angel“) and Michael Burnett (Paul Schulze, “24”) seek a boat to take them from Thailand into Burma to bring medical help to some of the many brutally oppressed farmers/villagers that are being systematically ‘cleansed’ by the Burmese government troops. They are sent to a mysterious American who they are told might help. His name is John Rambo.

After the trials of Vietnam, his violent homecoming, his return to ‘Nam to find POW’s and the betrayal that followed and the mess that was Afghanistan Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) has become a shadow dweller in the Thai jungles, earning a living catching snakes for a local tourist trap.
Initially refusing the missionaries request he eventually agrees to help (thanks to Sarah) and takes them on the perilous boat ride into Burma where they disembark to bring aid to a nearby village.

When the missionaries go missing after an attack on the village, their church hires a group of mercenaries to find them and Rambo agrees to take the mercenaries up river to where he dropped the missionaries off.
But he does not plan to stay with the boat and do nothing, as he now knows you can’t escape your destiny or what you were put on this Earth for. And Rambo was put on this Earth to fight….





If you had told me that in 2007/2008 the world would be watching a new “Rocky” movie and a new “Rambo” movie starring and directed by the then almost anonymous Sylvester Stallone I’d have called you a jumping fool who’s been smoking too much of the wacky weed.
How wrong I would have been!

Following the box office, and especially critical, success of “Rocky Balboa” the far more risky project (from a sheer age point of view given what the character is and must do) that would be “Rambo 4” seemed perhaps a step too far in this most unexpected of movie comebacks (even in an age of movie comebacks like “Die Hard 4” and “Indy 4”), especially given the critical and box office failure of Stallone’s last Rambo outing “Rambo III” almost 20 years before.
But Stallone is no fool, never has been, and using his vastly underrated writing and directing skills he manages to sidestep and overcome all the trials and pitfalls that resurrecting Rambo in 2007/8 would automatically bring up and manages to create a fitting, astonishingly brutal, swan-song for the tragic John J.

Opening with actual (explicit) news footage of the very real oppression and genocide being carried out in Burma against ethnic and religious minorities and anti-Government groups (very recently brought to the world’s lethargic attention in the failed pro-democracy demonstrations that saw the world whisper platitudes as people were shot in the streets and Monks were beaten senseless) Stallone warns us that this will be a far darker and visceral entry into the series (never a light watch anyway) and one with perhaps the most heartfelt message.
And it’s a message that comes across far better here, with nothing explicitly stated verbally, than the rather ham-fisted speeches that would mar the end of “Rambo: First Blood part II” and “Rambo III”. In these dark days everyone seems to have matured a little.

After the kick in the guts Mondo montage the fantasy oppression opens before us as troops force villagers run across a paddy field seeded with timed grenades. A most lethal game of chance where even the fortunate end up with a bullet in the head.
From this a great sound edit brings up the title and we finally see Rambo himself as, to my delight, the late Jerry Goldsmith’s superb “First Blood” score swells (like a long lost friend) over the footage of an older but still physically intimidating Rambo (and indeed Stallone) catching snakes.
It’s a superb opening that perhaps shows up the next section as rather weaker than perhaps it would be otherwise.

The biggest fault in the film now is the simpering Sarah Miller who, despite being all Godly, is not unwilling to use the fact she’s a woman to manipulate Rambo into doing what she wants him to do by fluttering her eyelashes and gently touching his arm.
Somehow I did not want to see, the stoic in his personal agenda and beliefs, Rambo being manipulated like a retarded child. Rambo will decide to do things, or not do things, according to his own moral/personal make-up and a simpering manipulator deciding for him seems to diminish the character.
This is not helped by the fact Julie Benz seems unable to shrug off the generally scheming attitude and feel she brought to the ruthless vampire Darla in “Buffy” and “Angel”.
She basically screams, cries and simpers. I for one was glad when she was kidnapped out of the movie for a while.

As far as character problems go thankfully that’s it. And indeed a rare opening up of the plot away from just being Rambo exclusively is the introduction of the mercenary characters.
A mixed race/nationality bunch of cynical hard assess is basically the order of the day and at first the leader of the group, Lewis (Graham McTavish), seems a cartoon creation from hell as in brash Cockney tones he shouts and swears and gives Rambo attitude to such an degree it seems that after the mass murdering Burmese military the next lot of bad guys are the English!
Thankfully the screenplay (by Art Monterastelli and Stallone) moves away from this depiction with not only the inclusion of an English sniper, ‘School Boy’ (Matthew Marsden) who is far more level headed and quite frankly pleasant but the fact it goes on to show that, despite the arrogance and disdain he shows, Lewis is a damn tough soldier. In fact all the mercs make for an interesting bunch and the script and acting help ensue that a risky ‘opening up the cast’ idea works surprisingly well.
Lewis also has two for the lines in the film,
“It wasn’t your fucking God that saved you, it was us” and the screamingly good, spat out with true British defiance… “you gutless ladyboy cunt”!
Rambo may, of course, have the best line in “Live for nothing... Or die for something” (supposedly taken up for real now by the rebels in Burma!) but those two gems from Lewis make him a memorable character.
Ex-British TV soap opera hunk Marsden is the next best thing as the deadly sniper (who’s heavy grain bullets literally blow people’s head’s off in true crowd pleasing, blast the bad guys, style) and he makes a nice antidote to the brash Lewis and the haunted Rambo.

Stallone himself does a good a job here as we could hope for. He's still an impressive physical sight thus adding to the plausibility of such a comeback and he of course handles the action well. Never the best actor in the world for sure, but a good solid actor when he puts his mind to it, and with a basically limiting role he manages to offer up some character shading and pulls off the final scenes expertly. It's certainly not, at all, the joke I feared it could be given his real age and the action-man character Rambo must be. In fact he does manage to being a weariness to John Rambo that adds again to the realism.

“Action”! “What about the action”, I here you cry. Well it’s a strange thing really.
There is no real ‘action’ in the film for quite a while (a slamming, lightening fast bit of agro with some pirates aside) away from the obviously less than entertaining atrocity set-pieces.
By their very nature and reason for being these sequences are not fun or exciting but they are superbly crafted and shockingly engaging in their high tech slaughter. Bodies are literally blown to pieces, welters of blood erupt into the air, limbs are blasted off and heads disintegrate,
It’s brutal and nasty and does all we need it to do. It brings the reality of Burma to our cinema screens via fantasy reconstruction and makes you think that, as this is not an historical film, these things are happening in real life as you sit in the cinema and watch them in a movie. And of course these scenes prime the purely cinematic ‘kick their assess’ attitude in the audience that makes the eventual revenge so damn satisfying.
The attack on the village, where the missionaries are especially ruthless, has to be one of the most shockingly brutal, expertly crafted sequences seen in cinema for a long time and contains some sickening images and events, so be warned.

The action that comes later is made up of a couple of short and violent skirmishes and a commando style raid. It’s all good and exciting stuff but is grounded (as much as it ever can be) in a reality that is actually quite far away from the 80’s attitude to such scenes.
The only real full-on action sequence is the astonishing finale. And it delivers in spades.
Opening with a moment of cinematic gold, as a bass rumble in the score heralds the rising up of Rambo’s head behind a soon the be doomed Burmese soldier, the sequence has to be the most crunching, pounding, slamming and brutally gory action set-piece seen in living memory.
Dozens upon dozens of troops are mowed down by heavy calibre fire that ruptures torsos, blows off limbs, shreds bodies and blows apart the same heads whose owners were once laughing off as they committed atrocity after atrocity against unarmed men, women and children.
The sequence is rather over the top for sure but it is not cartoonish (as some people have wrongly said) as yes that would happen to a body if it was hit with fire from a 50 calibre machine gun designed to blast through walls.

Is this sequence of extreme, mass body count, violence wrong?
Well only if you think retribution for wrongful acts is wrong. But in that case why are you watching a Rambo film anyway?
Go rent one of the many anti-West, anti-American Iraq based films, that have all spectacularly bombed at the box office.
You reap what you sow as 'The Good Book' sort of says, so even the missionaries should be groovy with it.
In fact even the oft criticised ‘rock bashing’ scene comes down to what is right or wrong.
Is simply lying down and dying, and letting your friends die, the right thing to do while, with all reluctance and heartache that comes from such an act, defending them and yourself from a cruel and undeserved fate the wrong thing to do?
You decide. I know what I think.

Even saying all that though, the fact is that even during this slam-bang action sequence, (that brings down brutal vengeance on those armed men that chose to butcher and rape the helpless) there is a darkness to the proceedings here that is quite unlike any other “Rambo” movie and the sheer scale and explicitness of the carnage means that even the deaths of the bad guys (and if you don’t think they are straight up bad guys there‘s no hope for you) has a bludgeoning effect on the viewer that takes off much (though essentially not all) the ‘popcorn munching thrill’ to the proceedings because we see just what it means to wallow in the brutality of warfare and to see sights that, no matter how right you feel your actions are, you will never able to remove from your mind.

In fact there is an effectively dignified ending to the proceedings after the last bullet has been fired as well as we see that once again Rambo is the one outside of everything, the one with perhaps the biggest, if unseen, wounds of anyone.
But the final scene itself offers up some kind of hope, some kind healing for a wronged character who has now simply seen far too much of all that is bad in the world.
It’s a fantastic moment for fans of the series and the character and, backed again by that great score, it brings it all full circle to what might have been if it had not been for a fateful meeting with a small town Sheriff all those years ago.
It has flaws yes, but it’s not a mindless killing fest, it does have something to say (and so called activist moralists should really consider who the bad guys are here, not just in the film but in the current, real life, situations this film directly and indirectly highlights) and Stallone does manage to deliver a movie both dark and bludgeoning, but also thrilling and exciting.
 

Bryan X

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I'm a little late to the party, but I just watched this for the first time the other night (blu-ray). I loved it. Too often these "20 year later" sequels don't measure up or they end up "trying too hard" and failing. I think this one got it just right. :emoji_thumbsup:
 

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