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Overall Rating

Awesome: 32.32%
Worth A Look43.43%
Average: 12.12%
Pretty Bad: 9.09%
Total Crap: 3.03%

7 reviews, 57 user ratings

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by David Hollands

"The sextagenarian war hero who still kicks ass."
4 stars

REPRINTED FROM MONDOMAGAZINE.NET: Sylvester Stalloneís pushing at least a hundred by now. Yet for a senior citizen, he hasnít lost any of his strength, courage, or machismo. Rocky Balboa demonstrated a fine end to the Rocky series, and surprisingly great writing and directing from Stallone. Rocky went out in style. You know what? John Rambo does too.

I should get the biggest flaws out of the way before I begin my waterfall of praise. The writing is pretty bad. Dialogue is forced, though to tell you the truth, itís mostly the other charactersí. Iím pretty sure it doesnít come off well because of some truly awful acting from the supporting players. Rambo remains safe from this though, mostly because he says very little (and the fact that he mumbles, so I hardly understood anything he said anyway).

Also, the running timeís pretty brief. Other Rambo adventures clocked in at about two hours, while this one delivers everything in ninety-five minutes. Thereís lots of action, but character is shortchanged. For example, while itís clear why Rambo chooses to once again don the bow and arrow and do some serious killing, the amount of screen time it takes him to come to that decision is hardly enough. I just didnít believe it. Why is that important in this kind of action flick? Because itís a message film, a movie that takes itself very seriously.

Now that thatís out of the wayÖ

Rambo kicked so much ass! The story? Rambo leads a group of Christian missionaries into a Burmese village. On a mission of peace and thus without weapons, the missionaries are easily captured by Burmese soldiers. Long story short, Rambo proceeds to blow things up but good!

Violence has always been a staple of the Rambo series, though it has never been taken to this extreme. Bodies are eviscerated, shredded, blown up, crushed, disemboweled, and decapitated in the grisly, gory detail of a Monty Python sketch. Surprisingly, Stallone never makes this violence seem too sensationalistic. The violence conveys an admittedly simplistic message concerning the horrors of war and genocide, though one that is still pretty hard-hitting. The gore seems absolutely necessary Ė well, except in one instance. Stallone succumbs to having a head bad guy killed, when before there really was no main antagonist, simply soldiers. I really liked that small shift from convention, so I was a bit disappointed when an inevitable confrontation occurred with the usual swell of patriotic music.

Ramboís a really dark film, not quite ďfunĒ in the way youíd expect. Itís entertaining as Hell, though it somehow never feels exploitative. I really canít describe it, especially since I typically dislike films that present themselves as mindless action fun but then go about their business in grim, unpleasant, and horrendously bloody fashion. Rambo walks a really thin tightrope in this regard, and yet Stallone somehow keeps the film perfectly balanced on it. Youíll have fun, I promise Ė just be prepared to be kicked hard in the gut.

Sly directs with a sure hand. The action is, as per the norm these days, presented in all out shaky-cam madness. Yet Stallone never allows things to become confusing. Itís intense and incredibly visceral action storytelling, yet it remains comprehensible at the same time. Not a small feat to pull off in Shaky-Cam World.

Brian Tylerís musical score is amazing, intense, and even melodically beautiful. Adapting Jerry Goldsmithís wonderful theme from First Blood, Tyler creates music that transports the audience completely into Ramboís world. In the action scenes, the music never allows us to breath for even a second. We never grow bored with the constant onslaught of sound, since itís so well composed and conducted.

In the end, Rambo marks a great return to form for an 80s icon. Stallone proves he still has it playing one of the ultimate American icons. If this is indeed the last Rambo film, Iíll be very happy; Ramboís gone out guns blazing, still raging (and mumbling) against the ďdying of the light.Ē

See it. I highly doubt youíll be disappointed.

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originally posted: 08/25/09 00:33:14
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User Comments

9/22/17 morris campbell rambo movies are macho fantasy bullshit 1 stars
7/07/15 D. the R. Good action flick - don't read too much into it, but we'll miss ya, John! 4 stars
1/22/12 Kyle Excellent Gorefest 5 stars
3/22/11 Richard79 Sly empties his first round into peurile teen trash like Die Hard 4.0 5 stars
3/11/11 sunny day Beats out Rocky Balboa, because this isn't a stupid retread of its own first installment. 4 stars
8/15/10 bored mom Look on the bright side. He's finally honest about killing bad guys for himself here. 4 stars
8/15/10 R.W. Welch Standard rescue mission stuff for the most part, but well enough done. 3 stars
8/10/10 Chad Dillon Cooper A Hollywood cupcake for the masses. 1 stars
5/15/10 Tim The best of the Rambo films - thrilling yet relevant and philosophical, despite flaws. 4 stars
8/25/09 Jack Sommersby Nothing great, but it undeniably delivers the goods. Stallone, again, is superb. 3 stars
5/31/09 Stevo A Film to make you angry. In many ways. 4 stars
4/29/09 Dr.Lao Wooden, over the hill steroid addict says "pacifism is stupid!" 2 stars
3/09/09 alice sucks No woman gets raped in Rambo, you idiot! 5 stars
10/08/08 Shaun Wallner Intense Action!! 5 stars
7/30/08 Alice Terrible!Guess you have to be a male to enjoy watching women getting raped.CRAP! 1 stars
7/01/08 mike Limbs being blown off and other brutality non stop. Good stuff 4 stars
4/26/08 mr.mike Agree with Brandy - it was....OK 3 stars
4/10/08 Brandy Didn't really care for it that much. 3 stars
3/27/08 Tim Surprisingly good, it's also relevant. Holds together pretty well. A rousing film. 4 stars
3/23/08 shaun 0065 its great to see him back again too long out great 5 stars
3/17/08 Dinesh Typical Rambo Movie with unwanted blood stream , but worth watching it 4 stars
3/04/08 matthew Short as hell, 76 minutes + credits, but damn did it entertain 4 stars
3/04/08 vaj master this is the greatest cinematic epxperience evar 5 stars
3/03/08 ladavies This was the first Rambo movie I've seen, loved it. Will probably see another. 4 stars
3/03/08 ben dover wow fucking amazing violence 5 stars
3/02/08 Theresa Wagner great action movie, you gotta love stallone 4 stars
2/22/08 Anthony Feor Poinless sequel that Stallone somehow pulls off 3 stars
2/14/08 Kai Lunkeit Genius action movie featuring tons of stunning action set pieces!!! 5 stars
2/05/08 FILM REVIEWER EXCELLENT action film 5 stars
2/05/08 a guy Don't know what movies other critics saw, this was a thrill to see. 5 stars
2/02/08 DrCruel Absolutely brilliant. Sly is a genius. 5 stars
2/02/08 Michael S Milne Sly got w/SOF to decide to set it in Burma- surpasses all Rambo flicks but 1st Blood. 5 stars
2/01/08 eric Stallone does it again,awesome movie,nice ending just like Rocky Balboa. 5 stars
2/01/08 Dan I dare the reviewer of this film to try and re-invent the wheel. See if you can do better. 5 stars
1/31/08 Bob Dog Laura Kyle's Rambo review casts doubt on the entire eFilmCritic site 2 stars
1/31/08 Nitin Excellent comeback!! 5 stars
1/31/08 rob nothing special 3 stars
1/30/08 Lloyd I loved it! It was more than just an action movie. Rambo walks proudly into the sunset! 5 stars
1/30/08 Ming Typical Rambo movie, It delives all the actions and excitments. I love it 4 stars
1/29/08 Ray Truly Awsome! Truly! Stallone is my hero. He does what he does and I love it. 5 stars
1/29/08 Darkknight21c This is how action movies should be done. Look and learn Hollywood 5 stars
1/29/08 Schreck Wow! Absolutely one of the best, most awesome movies I have seen in a long time! 5 stars
1/29/08 Mitch Instead of just plain Rambo this should have been called "Rambo: Bloodshed and Brutality 4" 5 stars
1/29/08 Specialist4hire I haven't felt exhilirated in a movie for a long time. Rambo delivers!!! 5 stars
1/28/08 Michael Galazzo I was skeptical going in, but RAMBO delivers; its a 93 minute adrenaline rush!!! 5 stars
1/28/08 Jay I had little expectations that this film would do the previous films justice. I was wrong. 5 stars
1/28/08 Bnorm That shit was insane...50 cal at point blank will ruin anyone's day especailly those clowns 5 stars
1/28/08 Mick Yes, the bad guys in this are scum in real life(not sterotypes) 5 stars
1/28/08 Reptilia Ramob will WTFPWN you! 5 stars
1/27/08 Mike Absolutely the best Rambo movie ever! 5 stars
1/27/08 the hangman loved it,the best movie of the year so far,truly satisfying 5 stars
1/27/08 Brian Mckay Much to my surprise - BEST RAMBO EVER. More bloody and satisfying than the last 3 combined! 5 stars
1/27/08 Jeffrey Gardner This is going to end up being a great advertisement for supplemental testosterone 4 stars
1/27/08 Shawn An incredible action film. Goriest movie quite possibly ever. 5 stars
1/26/08 Roland Gagne Best action sequence I've ever seen in any movie. Unbelievable! 5 stars
1/26/08 action movie fan one of the greatest action movies ever! RAMBO RULES 5 stars
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  25-Jan-2008 (R)
  DVD: 27-May-2008



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