Rambo
Fat Rambo still sticks it to jungle-dwelling soldiers in countries I’m never visiting.

Theatrical Release Date: 01/25/2008
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Matthew Marsden

Arruoghguahararhrhah! That’s Sly for … well … no one really knows. All I know is that the fourth installment of the Rambo franchise certainly lives up to its billing … as the fourth movie in the Rambo franchise.

This time around, we find our beloved anti-hero halfway around the world catching snakes and trying to keep his troubled memories behind him. As fate and a script co-written by the star and director, Judge Dredd himself, would have it, some missionaries have decided to bring medicine and religion to the Burmese people.

When he decided to tackle this project in what I like to call the Sayanora Stallone Series (“Rocky Balboa“, this, and hopefully soon we’ll see “Demolition Man 2: John Spartan Boogaloo”), Sly said he wanted to bring attention to the atrocities being committed in the world today.

A noble sentiment, he decided to go specifically with Burma. If you’ve been keeping up with current events for say … sixty years … you’d know that Burma has been in a civil war for that time and isn’t one of those charming corners of the world you read about in some travel magazine. It’s a hellhole. People are being slaughtered, raped and worse every day.

The film itself starts off with an execution scene akin to some Amnesty International video that might be shown at fundraisers for the shock value. From there, we quickly move towards Rambo’s task at hand.

To no great surprise, after he’s let well-meaning but stupidly naivé missionaries go off on their own, the Burmese military captures them. The church sponsoring the trip hires some mercenaries and Rambo goes along as their guide. What follows is exactly what you would expect and what you should want out of a film like this.

Hundreds of people are killed via land mines (I almost re-titled this film “Rambo: Minesweeper Deluxe), gunfire and sharp metal things called knives. Rambo even goes medieval on someone and gives him the throat-rip special. So obviously, this is a family film.

While I could point out numerous examples of poor editing, direction and script-writing, I really don’t want to. I had a grand ‘ole time watching people disappear into puffs of pink smoke, have their heads/limbs blown/chopped off and enjoying the fabulous dialogue one can only get from Stallone or a certain California Governator.

Really, the only thing that could have pleased me more is if this was a mash-up of “Rambo” and “Predator” … then I could be whisked away to the amazing verbal delights of “Nothing is over! Nothing!” and “Come on… Come on! Do it! Do it! Come on. Come on! Kill me! I’m here! Kill me! I’m here! Kill me! Come on! Kill me! I’m here! Come on! Do it now! Kill me!”

They just don’t write movies the same anymore do they?

I suppose if I had to say one serious thing about this film, it would be that it was nice to see Stallone wrap up the franchise they way he wanted to. There were plenty of things to knock in the film, especially right near the end when Rambo and Julie Benz’s character trade glances about 47 times in some strange Spielbergian “people looking” homage.

However, if you’re a fan of the franchise (especially “Rambo III” since the first two are actually fairly serious looks at PTSD and what war can do to soldiers), I think “Rambo” is a great ride and it’s just a lot of fun. I’m giving it a 2 out of 5 but also slapping the Craptacular rating on it because it just hit the spot.

I do want to caution everyone not to make this a drinking game. There are supposedly (and I have no reason to doubt it) over 200 people killed in the course of the film and no one but the late great John Belushi could handle that much alcohol … well, maybe the Mckenzie brothers … or André the Giant … but not you! So don’t try it.

But if you like cheesy, ridiculous violence, cheesy, ridiculous dialogue and a cheesy, ridiculous plot, then “Rambo” is for you. Enlist yourself into the nearest theater and get all the HGH and stunt double action you can handle.