Rambo (2008) starring Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Matthew Marsden, Graham McTavish, Reynaldo Gallegos, Jake La Botz, Tim Kang directed by Sylvester Stallone Movie Review

Rambo (2008)   4/54/54/54/54/5

Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo in Rambo (2008)

Final Blood and Lots Of It

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? It certainly does if it is one of hundreds of trees felled by John Rambo planting a claymore on an unexploded bomb as a booby trap. That is just one of many big action scenes in "Rambo" which sees Sylvester Stallone return to his iconic character of John Rambo for the first time in 20 years and give him one final outing. And whilst 20 years may have passed the only way you can describe "Rambo" is a return of 80s action with the benefit of better special effects to make it better than ever for those who like me have missed the testosterone filled, muscle bound action of the 80s.

Having tried to live a peaceful life in Thailand John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone - Rocky Balboa) reluctantly ferries a group of missionaries in to war-torn Burma on his river boat. But when he learns that the missionaries which include the caring Sarah (Julie Benz - Circle of Friends) have been kidnapped by the ruthless Burmese army John searches his soul and faces the fact that he has to do what he can do and joins a group of mercenaries hired to go in and rescue them.

Julie Benz as Sarah in Rambo (2008)

I miss 80s action, unpretentious macho fuelled action movies where men with big muscles and bigger guns go on the rampage to help good guys and destroy bad guys. And I know I am not alone because whilst action movies never go out of fashion 80s action movies where people die in gruesome and visual manners at the hand of a knife or sometimes a saw blade have. Maybe that is part of the reason why I like this latest and in some ways I hope last "Rambo" movie because it captures everything about 80s action which made it entertaining. And to start with the simple storyline, we may have a moment in "Rambo" where John does a bit of soul searching but other than that he is going in to rescue some good people and if that means killing bad people then so be it. That is it, no big pretentious scene about a bitter man or some clever plot twist, just man, machine gun and a rescue mission, well with a few mercenaries as well.

So what does that mean about "Rambo" well first up it is about the action, it is about watching not so much the tyrannical way the Burmese soldiers treat the innocent but watching John Rambo and the mercenaries kill lots of bad guys. Now there is nothing in the least bit new about this but with better special effects the brutal violence is more gruesome than ever. That makes me sound like I love violence but the truth is I love the fact we have an unrepentant hero who kills to save good people and when people die they die in a bloody slightly over the top way rather than falling over in a fake manner.

But whilst the 80s action is a big part of what makes "Rambo" so good it is also seeing Sylvester Stallone bring back one of his iconic characters for one final outing. And Stallone is on top form, not only looking just as good as ever when in the midst of action but cleverly playing Rambo as a man of few words, in control and confidant of who he is. The fact that Stallone doesn't say much in the movie is a good thing and there are no cheesy lines to spoil it so it just gives us are combat hero doing what he does best. In fact whilst Julie Benz, Matthew Marsden and Graham McTavish all have significant parts to play "Rambo" is rightly all about Stallone.

What this all boils down to is that "Rambo" is basically an 80s action movie but with the benefit of better cameras and special effects to make it bigger and better. And whilst older Stallone is also wiser and he does a brilliant job of playing John Rambo again as a man of few words but big action.