Stallone, co writer and director, might have done well to have released Rambo in late 2007. Or perhaps he is unconcerned with awards and merely wants politically liberal movie goers to understand the reality of savagery in third world nations. Rambo as a film has it all; a political message, gore, violence, stagecraft, amazing acting, and a 1980s reminiscence that has not been pulled off by many directors. Perhaps Stallone worked with a miniscule budget, or more likely, his directorial talent has been proven and is undisputable.
The action literally never ceases for a moment. The characters range from the honorable man, to the hard-nosed hilarious maniac, to the cowardly, to the oblivious, to the gorgeous (Julie Benz, a Mercedes Benz in my book), to the murderous, finally to the Boatman (Sylvester Stallone). Many speculated that his HGH violations which became ever more apparent after the incredible shape he achieved for the final installment of Rocky Balboa might have hindered his ability to perform verily or to look visually spectacular, guess again! Stallone’s true talents shine through. Amidst the hailstorm of bombs, land mines and bullets, his ability to speak with just the right amount of words speaks volumes. Unlike other actors, many of whom are wannabees, it is more about what Stallone says in short sentences, than about what he wants to say or mean.
A few caveats before I continue: Please leave the little children at home, leave the girlfriends and wives at home, and if you are squeamish go watch Ratatouille.
It is truly amazing how realistic Stallone’s arrow wounds and gunshot wounds appear to be. Peoples’ bodies look genuinely mangled or torn asunder in this film. While there is never any true suspense, as the last Rambo ever is naturally rather formulaic, Stallone nicely tells the story of a band of naïve liberal Christian missionaries who want to change the world. The only thing they change is their lives and the number of followers left alive after their actions lead to even greater carnage. Stallone also pays homage to Vietnam War veterans as heroes, and as fighters for life, combat and heroism is embedded in their blood.
The best parts of the movie are Stallone’s silence while being screamed at, his accuracy with a bow and arrows, the unspoken bond between his character and that of Julie Benz who came to admire manliness, and the scenes in which the innocent villagers were driven into mine laden swamps to explode into pools of gushing blood. This is a movie Rob Zombie wishes he could create, only Sylvester Stallone has the talent, and Zombie has a warped imagination that results in nothing. Perhaps we should all read more books on genocide, write to Stallone for promoting genocide awareness and then realize that very few care, and understand so much damage has already been done, that even one brave filmmaker who has risked Hollywood isolation, cannot change the world…
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