Rambo ★★★½

Geoff T's Rambo Marathon #4
Rambo (2008)

Just like he did with Rocky, Stallone brings back John Rambo with a vengeance, reinventing the franchise for a new generation with a level of violence not seen in past entries. It may be hard to watch for some, but as a modern entry I thought it worked very well in combining the old with the new.

Still living in Thailand 20 years after the Afgan uprising, John Rambo is making a living for himself in Thailand, where in nearby Burma a violent civil war is occuring in which the sadistic military is slaughtering entire villages of people. When a group of naive Christian missionaries are kidnapped and taken hostage, Rambo is forced to pick up his guns once again and help a group of mercenaries to venture into the war-torn jungles of Burma and rescue them.

Suffice to say that this movie is BRUTAL, racking up a bodycount higher than the first three movies combined. The original trilogy had it's fair share of violence though much of it was quite cartoonish. As well as the fiendish acts of the Burmese military, we are treated to bloody gunshot wounds, dismemberment and exploding body parts. Rambo however in spite of all this gory carnage actually seems somewhat human again rather than just a mindless killing machine, reacting violently to the horrors he witnesses around him.

This instalment ends the series at a high note and has Rambo at peace with himself. While the directing style (shaky cam, digital SFX) wasn't to my liking, this movie definitely delivers as far as being an extremely gory shoot-em-up and exposing the brutality that was going on in Burma at the time. A brutal and satisfying enough conclusion overall.


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