Friday, March 14, 2008

Movie Review - Rambo 4

Directed by: Sylvester Stallone
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Paul Schulze, Julie Benz

So I sat down and watched the latest Rambo film the other day. That’s right folks, I watched Sylvester Stallone grunt and shoot his was through nearly a hundred minutes of river, forest and blood. Yes, lots of blood. Why review this you might say? It’s going to be predictable and formulaic. Well yes it is, read more to see why it works.

My Rating: 4/5

Rambo 4 has come out at a time where it is morally wrong to upset your enemy’s and their culture. If we still had the mindset of the 80’s then I am sure that Rambo would be killing the Iraqi’s or even the Afgans that he saved in part 3. But as it happens he is now not fighting the enemy of the US, he is fighting the oppressive and demented regime of the Myanmar military, and boy are they demented.
Synopsis: (minor spoilers, sort of)

Without getting into to much detail the film plot is fairly simple. Rambo lives a simple life in Thailand when some church\redcross do gooders want to go up river to the bad area to help people. Rambo says “No, bad idea” they say “we don’t care” he takes them anyway.
The red cross\God people get caught by the bad guys and some get made dead. A bloke then comes to Rambo and asks for his help, he helps.
Rambo and a bunch of mercenaries go to the bad area and fight lot of the bad people. Rambo saves some of them. Some of them die, except the girl who lives. He kills about 9 million people with machine gun which is cool.
Rambo goes back to the US to hang with his family. The End.

(End of minor spoilers)

So that’s the plot. What about the rest? Rambo part 4 is actually very well shot, some of the scenes at night and in the rain really set an uneasy mood. Stallone has done well with this. I actually think that it is his best directed film along with Rocky Balboa. I don’t know if it’s because of age or the team of people he has around him but he has managed to turn what was an 80’s commercial vehicle into gritty and oppressive view of the problems in Burma. It is obvious that Stallone has his own views on the political injustice and this is his way of publicising this.
To say that this film is ultra violent is a major understatement. According to Wiki there are 236 kills which averages out at 2.59 kills a minute, that’s not bad for a 93 minute film. Most of the deaths occur by towards the end of the film by Rambo and his machine gun and it is a mighty impressive spectacle. Bodies are literally torn apart and there is so much blood. Probably one of the most harrowing parts of the film is not the blatant disregard for the lives of the military but the way the village invasion is depicted. No-one is spared, men, woman and children are slaughtered by the Burmese army and it is incredibly explicit. This was almost hard to watch, it is hard to think that these atrocities might actually be happening somewhere in the world.

All up this film works for me. Its violent, full on and dramatic and has made me (if only for a minute) think about the world. I recommend this to anyone that grew up with the old school action films. It will also suit anyone that enjoys the new brand of gorefest film. Nice one Sly.

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