Saturday, January 26, 2008

My complete take on Rambo. No spoiler.

This review is a little different from my usually detailed (sometimes to the point of pain) and lengthy (read: verbose) reviews. Not that I don't have lot's to say about Rambo and my experience seeing it on the big screen but I think in this case less will be more as the main point will definitely hit home.

First things first, we are familiar with this franchise. First Blood/Rambo is the story of "John J. Rambo," Vietnam veteran, green beret-special forces trained, and generally speaking the most elite and efficient survival/killing machine ever created by our nation's military might. (No disrespect to all you Navy Seals and Marines out there.) As a character, Rambo set the standard for the lone, ex-military anti-hero in the same vein as Clint Eastwood's "Harry Callahan" represented the lone crime-stopping anti-hero. (For Stallone and Eastwood, this worked out both good and bad because many other roles came their way but type-casting was a real bitch for both careers for a spell in Lalaland.) As a film, First Blood set this tone for the Rambo character in superior fashion. Until now it had raised the bar for the film franchise that sequels have not been able to touch by a long shot. I think it is appropriate to take note now that I do not feel the latest Rambo in any way overshadows the far superior First Blood. However, Rambo is definitely a very good time!

Stallone has learned a thing or two over his tenure as an actor, writer, and director. The majority of people still cannot get the "Yo, Adrianne!" out of their systems. But Sly is no one trick pony. The man has smarts, vision and so far has proven more than capable of saving a couple of film franchises that we all thought suffered cardiac arrest. (Yes, I'm paying a brief respect to Rocky Balboa, which I did enjoy.) Rambo definitely has a heartbeat. Along with a very good supporting cast, the feel of Rambo is gritty, harsh and unrefined. Do not expect any waste of time on the part of Stallone trying to make John J. Rambo some kind of philosophical, Zen-master like entity from his time in isolation in Thailand. Rambo has remained hard since the last film installment (perhaps harder than ever - Sly looks completely DIESEL). A welcome refreshment in Rambo will be the lack of unnecessary dialog. John J. doesn't have much to say at times but he gets his point across just the same. Same can be said for the rest of the cast as well. From the get go this film seems to want to deliver one thing: Non-stop Action. So be prepared for a killer roller coaster ride of bullets, blades, explosions and entrails.

All the combat sequences are truly a work of CGI-art. I can tell that Sly along with the Weinstein Brothers have watched their fair share of shows like Firepower, Future Weapons, etc. All jokes aside, the carnage is top notch and detail is excellent. You can almost see every round reach impact whether it be the ground, trees, rocks or soft bodies with ultimate gruesome effect. I guess I should warn people now that if you are the slightest bit nauseated by the sight of blood, do not see this film. If the site of bodies coming to pieces in mid-air, half-burning and in full view upset you DO NOT SEE THIS FILM. Some of scenes in combat look so real it makes you wonder. Forget about the old tried and true blood splatter packs, this stuff is nuts. And at the helm we have John J. kicking (er, massacring) the enemy but this time with a little help.

Yes, Rambo is a film to experience in a theater for many reasons. For one, it will renew your faith in the movie franchise. Two, as far as action films go so far this year, it's odds on the best. And lastly, the crowd around you will have this awesome vibe as you collectively share the experience. At film's end, in the theater I was in, the first two or three rows almost rose in unison to a standing ovation. If that's any inclination, you should definitely see Rambo. But take this advice - buy your tickets early. ;-)

And just one gripe before I go. Sly, if you're reading this, answer me this: How in the hell did they put together that damn stretcher for the limey so quickly? The thing looked like it was constructed by engineers, seriously?! ;-)


2 talkin' trash:

Joseph said...

I too had an incredible time watching the latest installation of the Rambo films. All things aside, some of the acting in the film was a little hard to swallow, along with the sadistic mentality of the Burmese Army. It was graphically disturbing and reminiscent of things that are happening in the world right now. If only there was a real Rambo to get out and fight the baddies. Should I take the chance, or should I leave it up to the professionals.
Also, I don't think that I've had as much of a laugh in a movie recently, as the laugh that resonated throughout the theater. Which isn't a bad thing. At all

Mended Meanderer said...

Yes, I too laughed. At a moment I thought the laughter was a bit morbid but to be honest I soon didn't have a care in the world. Not sure if that makes me sick in the head but I had a blast. ;-)