Rambo (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner21/02/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 91 mins

Impressively directed and insanely violent, Rambo delivers pretty much everything you could want from a Rambo movie, provided you're not after subtlety, wit or character development.

What's it all about?
Directed by Sylvester Stallone, Rambo is the fourth instalment in the Rambo franchise, following on from the Afghanistan-set Rambo III, 20 years ago. An older, wiser John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) now lives the quiet life in Northern Thailand, working as a snake-catcher and occasionally taking out his frustrations on a spot of metalwork.

However, when a group of missionaries ask him to take them upriver to help the Karen people in Burma, Rambo reluctantly agrees, perhaps because one of them (Julie Benz as Sarah) is rather cute. Sure enough, the missionaries get captured and tortured by the vicious Burmese army and Rambo teams with a bunch of mercenaries (including Matthew Marsden and Graham McTavish) in order to mount a desperate rescue mission.

The Good
Stallone's direction is extremely impressive, maintaining an exciting pace throughout and orchestrating some stunning battle sequences, all of which are insanely violent, with heads exploding, severed limbs flying everywhere and people literally getting blown to bits. It is easily the most violent film of the last ten years – indeed, the press notes helpfully inform us that an average of 2.5 people get killed for every minute of the film.

The effects are superb – you can just imagine gleeful teams of effects geeks who've been waiting years to use their CGI skills on bullet wounds and exploding heads and Stallone has finally given them the chance they've been waiting for.

The Bad
Unsurprisingly, the characters are mostly cliches (though Benz stands out) and the film doesn't have much to say beyond a slightly disturbing insistence that the only way to defeat a brutally violent enemy is to be brutally violent in return. Similarly, it occasionally goes over the top in that respect, such as in the shots of children being bayoneted.

Worth seeing?
If it's a spot of the old ultra-violence you're after then Rambo delivers and fans of 80s throwbacks won't be disappointed.

Film Trailer

Rambo (18)
Rambo has been reviewed by 3 users
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Content updated: 19/10/2017 19:21

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