Directed by Sylvester Stallone.
Written by Sylvester Stallone and Art Monterastelli.
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Paul Schulze and Matthew
Release Year: 2008
Review Date: 1/27/08
One of the critic quotes on the ad for the
new film "Rambo" basically says that this "Rambo" makes the other
three films collectively look like the G-rated fairy tale film
"Enchanted." It is rare that I agree with this kind of
commentary, but I have to admit:
The new "Rambo" film, if anything else, is
GRUESOME. I have the stomach for quite a bit when it comes to
movie violence, but even now I am a little surprised this made it
into theaters with an R rating and not an NC-17 rating. The last 20 minutes of this
movie are unbelievably intense!
In this fourth film--20 years after the
events of "Rambo III"--our man John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) is
living in Thailand, wrangling snakes and living the life of a man
who seems to have retired from a life of saving others by any means
necessary. But, when a group of religious aid workers seek out
Rambo to give them a ride into Burma to deliver aid and supplies,
Rambo tries to talk them out of it...but, to no avail, so when he
drops them off into Burma, he knows there's going to be trouble, and
there is, when the group is captured by Burmese soldiers. So,
along with a team of mercenaries hired by the aid workers union (or
something; I was unclear on how this was set up), Rambo goes back
into the belly of the beast to rescue the people that shoulda never
gone into Burma in the first place!
Most importantly, it gives Rambo the chance
to exercise that bloodlust so famously on display (and referred to
in flashback) during the first three Rambo films. And boy,
does he--people REALLY fucking die during this movie.
Wow...between all manner of body parts being blown apart, guys get
their necks and faces ripped off, gutted, blown apart by mines,
raped, you name it. Oh, and of course, this is one of those
women-and-children movies, too; kids get shot, mutilated, thrown
into fires, etc. Chuck, Rob and I saw this at the Tysons
Corner theaters today, and I'm sure of this: the sound system is
VERY good at Tysons, because when one village gets attacked by
mortar fire (and that's BEFORE some soldiers show up with
flamethrowers and mounted machine guns), I was almost literally
ducking for cover.
Wow. As action films go, this is as
far from the PG-13 "violence" as you can get. But, "Rambo"
delivers on the visceral level and should appease fans who like to
see guys get lit up...as long as you keep reminding yourself that
"it's just a movie", you should be fine. If this is the end of
the road for our man Rambo, it at least made me forget how bad
"Rambo III" was.
Rating: $9.50 Show
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard