Friday, November 14, 2008


By the age of 10, Chuck Norris, Charles Bronson, Steven Siegal, and Arnold frequented my living room television set on a regular basis. The MPAA film rating system didn't really mean much to my parents. I'm not sure why, but I turned ok - I think. But for my parents, when it comes to big knives, big guns, big explosions, and testosterone packed, big muscled action, Rambo is usually the only answer. With my parents, I've watched Rambo hung by his arms and dipped into a murky pool filled with leeches; I've watched him struggle with a civilian lifestyle, and now, after the character's self-titled return, I've watched how plastic surgery can turn even Rambo, into a transvestite.

Still haunted by his own deamons, Rambo lives in the rural, polically unstable region of Thailand where he makes a living by driving a boat up and down river. A self-imposed social outcast, Rambo is asked by a group of humanitarians to be ferried through dangerous Burma territory so they can help a terrorized villiage who needs their medical attention. On their mission, they are, of course, captured by corrupt, militant agressors, and a squad of paid militia are sent to rescue them. Then, the militia get their butts kicked. So who comes to save them? You go it - Rambo.

Even though this movie has everything against it (aging hero, lack of creativity, corny plot), I couldn't help but enjoy sitting through it. There are some ridculously over-the-top dismemberment scenes with equally over-the-top computer generated blood; there is a strange protective energy that seems to draw Rambo to a young blonde woman, and it doesn't quite make too much sense (Is it sexual tension? Is it paternal?); And there is the strange ending where he's seen walking toward his parent's ranch home in Arizona. Somehow, I don't think a 60-year-old man going to get the same homecoming as a 20-year-old boy. Yet, despite all that, it was fun as hell to watch.

Totally entertaining with shooting scenes galore, Rambo survives the battle between the film industry's greed verses the film's creative intention. As a character, Rambo is kept true to his original form, at least so far - apparently there's going to be a Rambo V. We'll see if Rambo can survive the war too.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 10:29 PM  

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