'To win war, you've gotta become war....' - John Rambo, First Blood: Part II
Created by David Morell in 1972, with his first appearance in First Blood, John Rambo became just one of the most regarded characters of the Eighties, thanks to Sylvester Stallone and his portrayal of the Vietnam-War veteran, who was subjectgated to abuse from the police after wandering into a small town and then decided to escape and cause a one man war. It was so successful, two sequels followed. 1985's Rambo: First Blood PtII, following Rambo's mission back into Vietnam to take photo's of a group of American POW's still being held, and again in 1988's Rambo III. This time, helping Afgan rebels fight against a Russian General, and to help get his friend Colonel Trutman, who was captured by the same Russians. I personally enjoyed all three (even though the third one bombed, but I thought it was very enjoyable), so when they announced RAMBO, to say I was excited is an understatement. And then when I saw it, it brought back memories of the Eighties and reminded me how much I miss Eighties action movies. They certainly don't make 'em like this anymore (well, until The Expendables came out, of course!)
|You seem to have a something stuck in your throat|
Rambo is living in Thailand, capturing snakes for the local snake show, when he is asked to transport a group of missionaries up the river, to war-torn Burma, where the civil war has been raging for 60 years, the longest civil war the world has known. When the missionaries get captured 'behind enemy lines' (so to speak), Rambo leads a rag-tag group of mercenaries to go on rescue mission to get them back.
The film marks a return to Stallone's famous character (after Rocky Balboa) after a hiatus of Twenty years, with him co-writing the film and directing it, and has been hailed as his 'comeback' movie. First off, the film is violent. Very violent. There is lots of claret on the screen, with people being blown up, heads being shot at, nothing is left intact. It shows intense scenes of what might be going on, with small villages being raided for recruits, normally kids from the ages of 12, to people being shot in the head, and being stabbed with rifle-mounted knives. It leaves nothing to the imagination. But, through all the violence, is a really good, well written story that, even though it has been told before in a different form, is so realistic, that it is a radical departure from the last Rambo movie (where he had a limitless supply of ammo, and loads of one-liners. A sure-sign of an Eighties movie if ever I saw one!). It also shows, that Stallone is a very capable director, that can deliver a finely crafted movie and doesn't cut any corners. There is not one scene I can see that the actors delivers an off performance, and there's no let-up in the intensity of any scene. The music is also great, giving the film an atmosphere that is sometimes lacking in modern-day movies (only some, mind). Even Coming Home from First Blood is used at the start, which is a nice nod to the original.
|When I say cut, I mean CUT!|
For comeback, it's an explosive choice. And it makes you wonder why he ever went away, but I for one am glad he's back.