Movie: "Rambo"
Year: 2008
Rated: R
Genre: Action / Adventure
Directed by: Sylvester Stallone
Writing credits: Art Monterastelli, Sylvester Stallone

Reviewer: Protoclown
Posted: 2/11/2008

Plot: Rambo kills.

Review: Holy shit! This movie is fucking intense. In fact, it's so intense that it makes the first three Rambo films look like playground slap fights by comparison. Seriously. I know that many of you were expecting a thinking man's movie, and I'm sorry to disappoint, but you won't find much of a story to speak of here. But if you were expecting one, you probably walked into the wrong movie.

Those of you more realistically expecting a non-stop bloodbath of violence and brutality will get exactly what you were looking for. In fact, I'll wager you're going to get a whole lot more than you're looking for. With CGI these days they're able to depict gore in much greater detail, and what used to be shown as a blurry body flying through a cloud of smoke after stepping on a land mine is now shown in ghoulishly uncomfortable detail.

This movie is full of scenes that will even make the most desensitized among you cringe, and rightly so. The vast majority of the brutality is committed by the bad guys, a role filled in this film by the Burmese military, and the scenes of rape and pillage they commit on quiet, simple villages are truly disturbing. But Rambo himself has upped the brutality level as well, and after seeing what the bad guys have done, you can't help but feel that he's a little bit justified in his acts of vengeance and anger.

A lot of critics have complained about the gratuitous "video game" violence in this movie. Yes, there is an unreasonable amount of violence in this movie, and yes, it is over the top. But it's also gritty, visceral and real (most of the time). And you know what? It should be disturbing. Shit like this actually happens in the world we live in, and maybe we need to be shocked once in a while to remember that. I'm sorry to wake some of you out of your Disney Coma, but it's true, like it or not.

Rambo has never glorified violence, however. He has always shied away from it unless necessary, and this film is no exception. But once John Rambo realizes it's time to party, he pulls out all the fucking stops.

The most obvious thing lacking from this movie is Richard Crenna's Colonel Trautman, and it is an absence you will certainly feel in this film. But as Crenna passed away back in 2003, they had to make due without him. And they did. Still, even without Trautman, I'd rank this movie in third place, behind the first two movies, but I feel it's a stronger film than Rambo III.

If you're a fan of the Rambo franchise there's nothing to dislike here, and if you're a fan of these kinds of military shoot 'em ups, you really need to check this one out. Parts of it may be hard to watch, but I'll be damned if I could look away.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Official Punching Bag
Feb 11th, 2008, 05:23 AM
I watched the first two Rambo films last year, but never saw the third one.

Something tells me that this is going to be like Pan's Labyrinth minus the Fantasy, with an overdose of testosterone and steroids. I could be wrong, but judging from the review, I might not be.
What? Me worry?
Feb 11th, 2008, 11:34 AM
This new Rambo flick was beautiful. I absolutely loved it. The artistry of the blood
spatter was masterfully executed with dirty finess.
Seriously, this movie rocked. Period.
And I gotta say, Im SEVERLY awed at Stallone's physique and ability to throw down the action like a young mid 40 (aka Rocky 4 Stallone) in this movie. The man runs, screams, shoots unlike any 61 year old I ever met. Kudos to him.
Fookin' up planets!
Feb 11th, 2008, 01:04 PM
Stallone is brilliant....
I used to despise his films (except "Demolition Man" that movie rocked) but if you look at the last Rocky and this amazing, hardcore, "War is Hell and your a killer" film...
You can see the complexity of the man, the actor and the director.

Yay for Rambo
Pickleman's Uncle
Feb 11th, 2008, 03:24 PM
Gives a new definition to the expression "blowing chunks" :O

No doubt in my mind that if this had been the first Rambo, and the first Rambo had been this one, everyone would be saying that this new one is the best... If was the old one.
If you see what I'm saying here. Also I sort of pity people who look for messages in movies like at some point a guy who makes entertainment for a living will come up with a revolutionary philosophy about life.

And is it just me or is Stallone looking more and more like a Native American as he ages?
Ultimate Buzzkill
Feb 11th, 2008, 04:26 PM
According to Stallone in an interview, the plot to rescue Christian missionaries had the aim of getting Rambo "saved," so that he'd more comfortably parallel Stallone, who recently became "born again."

Unabashed slaughter for Jesus! First Commandment? What's that?
Feb 11th, 2008, 09:20 PM
I'm so glad this film turned out good.
lurking on the walls
Feb 11th, 2008, 10:17 PM
Rambo rocks!!! i've seen bits of it online, and i can't wait for it to be released on dvd so i can pick up a copy of it....anyone remember the rambo cartoon? it sucked now that i think back on it, it's on Youtube
Feb 12th, 2008, 03:11 AM
To me the movie more or less came across as a "Where is your God?!" sort of thing. Add in an approach that doesn't glorify violence as much as part II and III plus some pretty gruesome and more realistic scenes of gore that should be mandatory in war movies (or at least the ones where you fire .50 caliber weapon at people) and we got ourselves a pretty good movie. Not Oscar material, but still an entertaining movie with dare I say, something of a message in between all the gasping and gore.
Feb 12th, 2008, 11:47 AM
And you know what? It should be disturbing. Shit like this actually happens in the world we live in, and maybe we need to be shocked once in a while to remember that. I'm sorry to wake some of you out of your Disney Coma, but it's true, like it or not.
- Are you kidding me? So you're telling me that a movie that primarily runs its commercials to the theme song of "Bodies" by Drowning pool during MMA and professional wrestling is really just a call to action for everybody to go out and do something about violence in the world? I'm sure that the people who like to watch men get smashed in the face with chairs or put into painful submission holds are at the forefront of those who are stuck in Disney Comas and are ready to go out there and start making the world a better place thanks to the deep message they got from a Rambo movie. Listen Protoclown, I know you have a highly developed bullshit detector; that's evidenced by your vitriolic post about Super Bowl commercials, but do you ever actually turn that filter on to your own works?

The only message that Rambo portrays is the old Bugs Bunny Complex: "Don't start things, but if somebody else starts it, you feel free to finish it."

If you're looking for a war movie that's about the human condition amongst the horrors of war then stick with flicks like Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, or Saving Private Ryan. If you're looking for a war movie that's all about turning off the mind and watching bad guys get the ol' "eye for an eye treatment" then enjoy Rambo. But let's just call a spade a spade and not pin Rambo up as a brilliant way to remind people that living in the rest of the world sucks a lot more than living in the USA.
Feb 12th, 2008, 02:57 PM
As a side note, what are you supposed to think when you walk away from watching? "That was intense"? Or just "That was awesome!" I'm fine with either outcome, personally, though it's not like I've spent the $10 to see the movie...
The Goddamned Batman
Feb 12th, 2008, 06:05 PM
Despotofks: In what part of my review did I say that Rambo was a "call to action"? Where did I even call it a "war movie"? I never said it was deep, or that it was a film that would change your life by turning you into an activist, nor did I make any of the other claims that you seem to think I made. I never claimed it was anything other than a good action movie with a disturbingly brutal (and largely realistic) portrayal of violence.

Obviously there are far better "war" movies out there that offer up some worthwhile social and political commentary. This is not one of them. You can call a spade a spade all you want, I'm sticking to calling Rambo a damned enjoyable action movie.
Feb 12th, 2008, 07:31 PM
You suggest that the disturbingly brutal portions are necessary to remind us that things this brutal happen in real life...

So, if with this line of reasoning you are not suggesting that it should call us to action (of any degree) against brutality, then by what reason should we be reminded that terrible things happen around the world?

Honestly Protoclown, this line is the only thing I have a problem with in the whole review. I think you did an excellent job of describing Rambo as an ejoyable shoot 'em up action flick. However, the producers of Rambo know just as well as you and I that what they are putting out there is a cathartic "bad guys get what they deserve" romp and the gore is a result from the assumed demand for it by the target demographic. Saying that the disturbing violence is necessary to remind that target demographic that it is a real issue around the world is like saying that the useless scene in Transformers that featured an Escalade, an Xbox, and a Mountain Dew machine that came to life was necessary to remind us that the movie is about robots and not a tacked-on bullshit product placement.
Feb 13th, 2008, 06:23 AM
I'm pretty sure he said that to point out that a movie with realistic gore, is a movie with realistic gore.
What? Me worry?
Feb 13th, 2008, 08:54 PM
Hmmm... nerdy nerdy. But I'll chip in. Sylvester Stallone said that when they went out to the shooting location, the film crew actually dodged several real dangers that was present in the movie. He mentioned that the gore you saw in the film was only a few things that were really happening out there in B. And he didnt want to water it down because he felt he wanted to let the audience experience things that really was happening out there. Its no playground or a military walk in the park. What he witnessed out there was nothing short of extreme brutality. Those are his words. Not mine. If you ask me, I agreed with just about everything Protoclown stated above with a small grain of salt of course as you should in just about any place online cuz hey... in the end, theyre just opinions.

This movie rocked. The End.
From the Home of MST3K
Feb 13th, 2008, 08:59 PM
The point of this movie was to see Rambo kill Asians for 90 minutes. That;s all the movie was ever meant to be, and it was delicious.

Also: Burmese strippers suck. If you're going to sway from side to side, at least do it to the music, and with your top off!
Forum Virgin
Feb 13th, 2008, 10:07 PM
well might go see that movie only for the gore factor its rare nowadays to find a good and gory flick

damn pg13
Hitler's Canoe!
Feb 15th, 2008, 12:45 PM
I liked it. It's a fun film to watch. Sure, it's hardly high art, or even a particularly engaging narrative but the action is really well done and I was never bored.
Feb 17th, 2008, 02:40 PM
Its amazing to me that this movie made it to theaters with all the gore intact. Usually they keep that stuff for the Unrated DVD.

Favorite part: Missionary dude flipping out and splattering that bad guy's head with a rock.
Sympathizes with the foo'
Jun 29th, 2008, 01:11 AM
"Unabashed slaughter for Jesus! First Commandment? What's that?"

If you believe that sort of thing, it was the one God wrote about having no other gods before Him. But if you're talking about the sixth commandment, the original translation reads "do not shed innocent blood," and I doubt the bad guys in this movie qualify. Rambo's in the clear, as far as God is concerned.

And for all the people giving Protoclown shit: it almost seems like you're deliberately missing his point. No, Sylvester Stallone doesn't go around exploding SPDC troops with a .50 machine gun -awesome as that would be- but the things those SPDC guys do to the Burmese people really happens over there. THAT'S the stuff he was talking about.