Rambo with a Vengeance
Well, after the extreme success of Rocky Balboa, it was a no-brainer that a new Rambo was on the way. As with Rocky V, Rambo III was a terrible finale for the franchise. But, Rocky Balboa finished the saga of America’s favorite fictional boxer. Rambo did not give complete closure. Another Rocky film would be a huge mistake. Another Rambo film, well, it couldn’t hurt. As with Rocky Balboa, Rambo was written and directed by the star Sylvester Stallone.
This was Stallone’s first real action film to direct. I have to say, it was not bad. It had a budget of around $47.5 million. I want to know how much of that was spent on blood, gore, body parts, and fake corpses. This film could quite possibly be the most violent film I have ever scene, and I have seen plenty. I find that I do not find films violent often. I am jaded and desensitized to violence. Yet, this film was violent to me. With that, I can only imagine what other people thought. Right before my showing started, a family of three sat in the row in front of me. There was Mom, Dad, and a 10 year old daughter. I don’t get it.
The film opens with a news report of the horrors going on in Burma with the civil war and genocide tearing the nation apart. We then get our first look at Rambo hunting snakes with natives. Stallone, who openly admitted to using HGH, beefed up to over 200 pounds. I am the same height of Stallone, weight about 200 pounds, but I am in no way shape or form in that good of condition. Soon after returning to his shack of a house, some people on a church mission ask if he will take them up the river into Burma. The group is lead by Michael played by Paul Schulze, who may recognize as Father Intintola from The Sopranos. Rambo refuses, but is later convinced by Sarah, played by Julie Benz of Angel and Dexter fame.
On the way up the river, Rambo does what he does best, he kills. He kills an entire boat full of Burmese pirates to protect his group of church missionaries. Once getting them to shore, the camp that they arrive at is quickly attacked and the survivors are taken captive. Another person from the church comes and asks our hero-without-a-home to take a group of mercenaries up the river to rescue the group. Upon getting them to shore, Rambo then decides to join the group. The leader of the mercenaries denies him. When the mercenaries get pinned down, Rambo gets them out of it. This makes him part of the team. The rest of the film is a Burmese bloodbath. There are plenty of creative death sequences, and then plenty of old fashioned ones, too.
For a Rambo film, this one will probably be second only to First Blood. This film was missing one key element, Richard Crenna and his character Colonel Samuel Trautman. Sadly, he died a few years back in 2003, leaving Rambo with no one to help him control his issues. There was one scene I this film that was almost identical to one in Rocky Balboa. It involved black and white archive footage from the previous films. I was slightly disappointed with the repeat on Stallone’s part with that. Verdict: Worth the money if you are a fan, if not, you weren’t going to see it anyway.