Sunday, August 27, 2017

Rambo

Rambo; action, USA / Germany / Thailand, 2008; D: Sylvester Stallone, S: Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Paul Schulze, Tim Kang, Maung Maung Khin, Matthew Marsden

War veteran John Rambo has retired and now spends his peaceful time in the jungles of Thailand. One day, this changes when he is approached by a couple of American volunteers who persuade him to drive them in his boat to the isolated Burma to bring medical supplies and help the wounded Khang people there. Reluctantly, Rambo agrees. The missionaries are arrested and abducted by Burma's military junta during their attack at an village. Upon hearing that, Rambo decides to go back once again to save them, together with five American mercenaries. They storm a Burmese outpost and save the missionaries and other abducted people. Rambo then machine guns all Burmese soldiers. Afterwords, Rambo returns back home in America.

20 years after "Rambo III", Sylvester Stallone was finally persuaded to return one last time in the shoes of one of his most iconic movie roles, but part IV was predictably just a rehash of the previous film, except that the villainous Soviets were replaced by the military junta in Burma. The 2008 "Rambo" is a surprisingly thin, terse film, with a simplistic story that can be practically summed up in one sentence: the Burmese military junta abducts American missionaries from a village, Rambo arrives to save them, they leave Burma, the end. It is almost tempting to ask "Is that it? Are there really no surprises or twists in the story?", yet it seems the authors were not preoccupied with creating some especially interesting, memorable or versatile characters, but to set up one-dimensional extras just to have an action terrain for Rambo. Stallone is still in great shape, and the democratic message is noble, but one would have hoped to find out more about Rambo as a character if this was suppose to be his final appearance. In the final scenes, he is seen walking back to his deserted home in America. Wouldn't it have been interesting to find out how he feels back home? Are there are relatives of friends whom he missed? Unfortunately, none of that is the concern of the (limited) scope of the abridged storyline. As some film critics have pointed, this just might be the bloodiest "Rambo" film: while in first film, the hero was cautious not to kill anyone, just wound them, here he machine-guns the Burmese military junta, whose bodies literally explode in piles of blood from heavy bullets. For action fans, a solid film, yet for the cineasts, more could have been served.

Grade;+

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