Monday, June 16, 2008

Movies: Rambo

I've always been a fan of both "First Blood" (the first film in the Rambo saga) and its sequel (the curiously named "Rambo: First Blood Part II"), so I loaded up the latest Rambo flick from Sly Stallone on my Blockbuster queue and gave it a whirl:

Stallone plays John Rambo, an old soldier who is living a quiet life in Thailand. When some missionaries request a boat ride upriver to provide relief to the beleaguered Karen tribes, Rambo finds himself drawn back into a world of violence and warfare. As you might expect, there's buckets of violence (that sometimes crosses into the level of the absurd) and the Burmese military commits so many brutal crimes against humanity that the main Burmese general might as well have a toothbrush moustache and a raised right hand.

To be honest, I've always felt Sylvester Stallone was a bit underrated as a writer/director. The screenplay for the original "Rocky" is a great piece of screenwriting, and the recent "Rocky Balboa" was about as well-directed as a sixth Rocky movie could possibly be. And, to be fair, Stallone goes to the well of nostalgia less in "Rambo" (smart move, since the previous films haven't held up like the Rocky series has).

My main gripe with the movie is that it feels too short, and too streamlined. The movie barely hits 80 minutes in its runtime - it feels like we're missing a reel or something. I would've liked another action scene or two, and some more scenes that explore the characters. As it stands, "Rambo" is a bit forgettable.

Rating: 6/10


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