Review: John Rambo

When I heard a year ago that Stallone is making another ‘Rambo’ film, I immediately went ‘WHAT THE FREAKIN’ F**K??!!’ Omigod, I mean, it was like saying that the ‘New Kids On The Block’ are making a come-back and they are gonna rock. Furthermore, Stallone is 60 years old for God’s sake, I do not want to see a Grandpa kicking ass, furthermore on the big screen. I also believe that the ‘Rambo’ franchise had ended with the Russians in ‘Rambo 3’ and everyone should leave it at that, and to respect that. C’mon, Rambo in Iraq? Rambo in North Korea? No way. It will become a joke that no one will laugh at. But a year later and here we are, with ‘John Rambo’, and it’s Stallone with his big bulging biceps, now with additional streaks of grey hair. Everyone, start your laughing. This is gonna suck.

WRONG. I saw ‘John Rambo’ over the weekend and it rocked. HARD. Why? Because this is not the super-greased Rambo with the red bandana. No, this is the Rambo in ‘Rambo Part 1’ & ‘Part 2’, this is John-with-psychological-problems-Rambo, the disturbed war veteran with devils living inside him just waiting to burst out from his mind. This is the mentally disturbed Rambo in ‘Part 1 & 2’, not the hero-riding-into-the-sunset Rambo. This is the ORGINAL Rambo, and I love this film for that.

Mind you, if you disliked ‘Rambo Part 1 & 2’, you are gonna hate this film. This is not to say this film is a character study with Rambo, heck no, you will indeed get action, violence and deaths. LOTS OF THEM. Heads get blown apart, body parts ripped from violent explosions and throats get cut from Rambo like a hot knife through butter. The feel of this film is a return to the original feel of the earlier Rambo films and it is a nostalgic joy. And for that simple reason, this latest ‘Rambo’ film should be considered as the ideal fit into the ‘Rambo’ saga as THE definitive conclusion to the ‘Rambo’ fable, and not ‘Rambo 3’.

Don’t get the wrong here, the plot is shallow and virtually non-existent. The story is straight-forward and simple. The acting is simple, there is no avant-garde editing ala ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ and there is nothing smart in here whatever. This is not a re-boot or a re-invention like ‘James Bond’ or ‘Star Trek’. This does not try to impress new fans and wants to build a new fan-base. This is simply a ‘Rambo’ movie for ‘Rambo’ fans, and if you are indeed a Rambo fan, then God bless you, this will rock your balls to its very core. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Verdict: 7 / 10

Reviewed by: Raymond Choy

From the Corner - A Musical Companion

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones