Austin Burke’s review published on Letterboxd:
Rambo Ranked - Click HERE
This fourth film embodies everything this franchise means. It doesn’t provide everything I want from the character (that we love from the first) but it does get back to what made the second so exciting. I’m not the biggest “Rambo” fan in the world but I can acknowledge that this franchise has a guilty pleasure factor to it. These sequels aren’t the most well-made movies but they are fun. Rambo is just a fun movie. You don’t care about the plot, which is fine. The movie cares about story a bit more than you but just a tad bit. It knows when it’s starting to lose the hardcore fans and turns on the intense action when necessary. It tries to give Rambo this emotional connection to certain characters that just falls a bit flat. It also tries to serve up an interesting, timely story, that does its job. The story is easily the least interesting thing about the movie.
The sloppiest element is the filmmaking. Stallone directed this and it shows. This is not to say that Stallone is a bad Director, because he has delivered in the past but he’s not the best when it comes to weaving plot with action. The action itself is everything a hardcore Rambo fan wants. This movie is intense, full of gore, heavily violent and relentless. The raid on the village may be the most shocking thing I have seen in awhile. The last time I watched this was in 2008, in the theater, and I remember how shocked I was then. I was 13 and had stepped into an R-rated movie just to try to experience what my dad loved about Rambo. Little did I know that I would have another opportunity 11 years later but to see the action that this movie showcased was crazy. It is Rambo being Rambo. He’s a killing machine but he is one that knows right from wrong.
He is tactical and serves his country while taking (necessary) lives to save those around him (that deserve saving). I just can’t get over the sight of limbs flying, people dying and chunks of bodies going everywhere. It’s a horrifying sight to someone who doesn’t love violence. If you don’t love this kind of movie, I’m unsure why you are watching this fourth entry. It’s definitely understandable if someone can’t get past the weak plot and choppy editing. When this movie falls flat, it fails hard. When it works, it flourishes and delivers on what it set out to do. It’s one of the best “pure” action movies of that year and it harkens back to what mindless action romps used to be (specifically in the 80’s). It’s a nice throwback film to a time when movies were just fun because they could be. It may seem like I’m giving this one a pass because of that but I would be lying if I said it didn’t have me cheering. This fourth entry is full of excitement, blood and intensity.
🔜Spider-Man: Far From Home♻️