Rambo Marathon: Review: Rambo (2008)

The blood flows freely, and I mean fucking FREELY, in the final entry in the Rambo Marathon!

Written By: Art Monterastelli & Sylvester Stallone
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone

Is the violence, blood, and gore in Rambo excessive? You bet your mutilated ass it’s excessive, but you know what, it fits. Sylvester Stallone sets a tone very early on, a tone of complete and utter nihilism. Rambo isn’t a movie to show that there is good in the world, that you can make a difference. Stallone knows what his character went through in the first three films, and he takes that worldview and runs with it. The ending of Rambo isn’t a happy ending, it’s just an ending, a natural way for John Rambo to leave our view. No one in Rambo is noble, they are just men and women doing what they do, whether that is bad or good. Stallone gets a tad heavy handed with his message of nihilism at times, but it is forgivable, because Rambo is a film that stays true to what it wants to be.

It was nice to see good ole John Rambo back in action again, in that regard there is no denying that Rambo has a major nostalgia kick built into it. But, Stallone doesn’t rely on nostalgia alone, he knows that people love this character, or at the every least really like him, and he presents John Rambo in all his mythic glory. This isn’t a man that could really exist, this level of violence isn’t something any of the people who watched the movie can see as realistic. But, again, that’s okay, Rambo is big and overblown, it is mythic, it is epic, it is a fitting end for the direction the Rambo franchise ultimately ended up going in.

As far as the story goes, I’m going to say one word and one word only, whatever. Okay, maybe I’ll say more, Rambo isn’t about its story, what happens story wise really doesn’t matter all that much. The story is the bare minimum needed to get these characters into place, and that is good enough. Don’t get me wrong, I love story and plot as much as the next guy, but Rambo doesn’t need either of those to succeed as the movie it wants to be. The violence is extreme, the world is harsh, these characters are about ninety nine percent despicable, but we want to be in the thick of things with John Rambo and company. That is a testament to Stallone’s ability to craft some compelling violence, a nice return to a well known character and a nihilist take on the world that simply put, works.

When I started this marathon I didn’t think I would end up liking this film as much as I did or the character of John Rambo as much I have. But, the final entry in our Rambo Marathon, appropriately entitled simply, Rambo, is a fitting end to this character and his marathon. Each film in the marathon was different, and while none of the sequels ever reached the heights of First Blood, they all brought something to the table, yes, even Rambo: First Blood Part II brought a tiny something to the table. Anyways, Rambo is a fine action movie, but be warned, it is gory, it is violent, and it is sick in some places. If you can stomach that then give Rambo a chance and see a fun character go out in style.

Go and see what Edgar thought of the final film in our marathon over at his blog, Between The Seats.

Rating:

***

Cheers,
Bill

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