The fourth installment of the Rambo series – simply titled “Rambo” (amazingly that wasn’t taken) – has an uncomplicated message:
Non-violence is for pussies.
That’s why more than 230 people are killed – on screen – in this blood lust of a movie. The violence is graphic: limbs blown off, skulls crushed under boots, throats torn out, and heads decapitated.
“Rambo” (2008) exploits the deplorable situation in
"Rambo" is a bad film. But it wants to be more than the sum of its parts. It wants to be an "important" action film -- blood, sweat, and bullets with a message. But it ain't.
“Rambo” features a lumbering Sylvester Stallone reprising his role as the conflicted, ultra-violent ex-Green Beret John Rambo. Stallone resembles the giant from Jack in the Beanstalk as he thuds heavily across the screen grunting and muttering gems like: “They would've raped her 50 times and cut your fucking heads off” and “Fuck the world.” He's supposed to be the wise old warrior -- but he comes across as a retarded oaf.
As the movie opens, we find a sweaty, bloated Rambo living in
The missionaries, with the exception of the pretty blond Sarah (played by Julie Benz), are portrayed as a bunch of sheltered, self-righteous wimps. When a perspiring Rambo mumbles that the only way to help the victims is to smuggle in weapons, the missionaries become aghast. Rambo, oozing like a sponge, scowls at them.
It’s amazing that the Christian Right didn’t go ballistic over “Rambo” because the underlying message of the film is that the Christian approach to conflict resolution: humanitarian aid, peaceful co-existence, etc. is crap. The movie portrays these do-gooder Christians as arrogant, weak-kneed morons.
As one of the mercenaries later growls at the leader of the church group: “God didn't save you, we did.”
Rambo reluctantly takes the missionaries into
The missionaries aren’t killed, of course, but taken prisoner so they can be tortured in creative ways (such as being devoured alive by starving hogs). Rambo, dripping wet after a rain storm, is hired by the missionary group’s reverend to lead a pack of mercenaries into
“There isn't one of us that doesn't want to be someplace else. But this is what we do, who we are. Live for nothing, or die for something,” Rambo mumbles at one point (wetness dripping from his forehead).
Now the real blood sport begins. The movie makes sure to justify all of the ruthless violence administered by Rambo – because the bad guys have already committed so many atrocities that the audience can only root for Rambo to kill them all.
And he does a damn good job. In fact, it's fantastically bad cinema at its finest (and dampest).
Unfortunately, “Rambo” doesn’t elevate much beyond the gore and the eye-for-an-eye mentality. What the movie does best is show the results of human growth hormone on the body of a 61-year-old actor (visualize: waterlogged).Fantastically Bad Cinema: Cocktail