The return of Rambo

It’s been 26 years since the release of David Morell’s “First Blood,” the movie in which John Rambo, a Vietnam War veteran who is highly skilled in weaponry and survival, first charged into battle. Now in 2008, 20 years after the last Rambo movie, Stallone returns in a balls to the wall, non-stop action movie, in what seems to be the last movie of the saga, simply titled “Rambo.”

The start of the movie shows Rambo’s retreat to ordinary life in a small village down the river from Burma. There is much conflict there, as General Stint’s guerilla warriors constantly rape, torture, and kill members of a native tribe called the Karens. A missionary approaches Rambo and requests his help in traveling to Burma and helping the tribe. Rambo defers his request, insisting that they cannot change the world. However, he is eventually persuaded to help after the missionary’s wife, Sarah, persistently begs him.

The next morning, the group boards a boat manned by Rambo. After Sarah talks to Rambo and learns his name, about his home in Arizona, and how he ended up in the village, Rambo declares that he will only take orders from Sarah, as it is clear he takes no interest or liking in any other members of the group.

After a run-in with Burmese pirates, where Rambo first shows his tactical warfare to the group in a quick execution of the assailants, the boat eventually arrives at its desired location.

Rambo returns with his boatmen to his village.

Meanwhile, at Karen village the missionaries are helping with medical, dental, and religious needs. General Stint’s men soon attack the village, slaughter the tribe, and capture the missionaries.

The remainder of the movie shows Rambo and the mercenaries’ attempt to rescue the prisoners, which ends in a bloody battle between Stint’s men and the “good guys.”

Stallone may be in his sixties, but he shows that age doesn’t matter, delivering a solid performance as his classic character. The writers, which Stallone was one of, were able to re-open and close the Rambo legacy very graciously. The movie didn’t lack any essential pieces of a great action film. The movie’s plot was very innovative and engaging, and the theatrical elements of blood, gore, and explosions were top notch, and very realistic. The end of the movie comes as a slight surprise, and seems to finally close the book on the story of John Rambo.

3.5/4 stars