I saw Sylvester Stallone's newest, "John Rambo", last night. I was absolutely smitten by "Rocky Balboa" a while back and that was enough to get me to see what Sly's done with his other iconic character. Although it was way too short (77 minutes without the end credits!), "John Rambo" was absolutely great. There will be detractors, of course; people who will always knock films like this, but I say fuck 'em. As there will always be high art, there will always be high exploitation.
The plot is as such: John Rambo is living in Thailand, capturing snakes for sale and manning a longboat for hire. A group of missionaries hire his services to get them by boat to Burmese, where the locals are being slaughtered en masse. He's extremely reluctant, but he agrees to take them, thanks to Sarah, the lone woman of the group.
Long story short, the group gets captured and Rambo, along with a group of mercenaries, go back to rescue them.
This film is brutal. It's filled to the hilt with brutality. It's also filled to the hilt with old school jungle action. In that respect, this film is spectacular. The first part of the movie is dedicated to making us hate the villians by bludgeoning us with the genocide of the Burmese people. Once the film hits the one hour mark, bodies just explode and disintegrate for the next 20. There really isn't a middle ground. Either you'll be repulsed by the goings on here, or you'll be roused. I was completely roused.
You may be asking, "Terry, you love this movie but you hate films like "Saw", where the body counts are much lower". Well, yeah. There's a large difference here. In "John Rambo", the violence is triggered by a kill or be killed situation in a Genocidic warzone. Those (so-called) Torture Porn movies are about a person, or persons, who believe they are intellectually superior to all other humans on Earth and believe they should dictate who lives and who dies. The same goes for that sad television drama, "Dexter". Things like that are smug and overtly realistic. "John Rambo" is a grand comic book of a movie and I only felt cheated by the short running time.
Do you miss 1980's action films? Go see this and get your fix. Now, where's Chuck Norris and the next "Missing In Action" movie?