Director: Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Paul
Schulze, Matthew Marsden, Graham McTavish, Rey Gallegos, Tim
Kang, Jake LaBotz, Maung Maung Khin, Ken Howard
RunTime: 1 hr 33 mins
Released By: UIP
Rating: M18 (Violence)
Official Website: http://movies.break.com/rambo/
Opening Day: 24 January 2008
years after the last film in the series, John Rambo (Sylvester
Stallone) has retreated to northern Thailand, where he's running
a longboat on the Salween River. On the nearby Thai-Burma
(Myanmar) border, the world's longest-running civil war, the
Burmese-Karen conflict, rages into its 60th year. But Rambo,
who lives a solitary, simple life in the mountains and jungles
fishing and catching poisonous snakes to sell, has long given
up fighting, even as medics, mercenaries, rebels and peace
workers pass by on their way to the war-torn region.
all changes when a group of human rights missionaries search
out the "American river guide" John Rambo. When
Sarah (Julie Benz) and Michael Bennett (Paul Schulze) approach
him, they explain that since last year's trek to the refugee
camps, the Burmese military has laid landmines along the road,
making it too dangerous for overland travel. They ask Rambo
to guide them up the Salween and drop them off, so they can
deliver medical supplies and food to the Karen tribe. After
initially refusing to cross into Burma, Rambo takes them,
dropping off Sarah, Michael and the aid workers...
than two weeks later, pastor Arthur Marsh (Ken Howard) finds
Rambo and tells him the aid workers did not return and the
embassies have not helped locate them. He tells Rambo he's
mortgaged his home and raised money from his congregation
to hire mercenaries to get the missionaries, who are being
held captive by the Burmese army. Although the United States
military trained him to be a lethal super soldier in Vietnam,
decades later Rambo's reluctance for violence and conflict
are palpable, his scars faded, yet visible. However, the lone
warrior knows what he must do...
I can fully comprehend if you don’t understand the existence
of John Rambo or Rambo 4 in this review context. For God’s
sake, the man has been around for ages in cinematic history
since 1982 to be precise. Many young cinema-goers won’t
have much idea about the character Rambo perhaps the sheer
mention of the name Sylvester Stallone might still ring a
a Vietnam War veteran, Rambo in the past had been recruited
for secret operations and has even fought the Soviets but
for now, he is living in recluse in Thailand, catching snakes
and collecting scrap metal for a living. That is until a group
of Christian missionaries enlisted the help of Rambo to transport
them to Burma where the merciless Burmese military rule. No
prizes for those who managed to guess what will happen in
the second act.
who co-wrote the script infused real-life documentary footages
of the atrocities committed by the Burmese/Myanmar military
during the opening of the movie. Rape, villagers being brutally
killed and shots of highly-decomposed bodies are just some
of the highlights. This is enough to capture your attention.
Effectively, Rambo 4 is a one-man mission against many. Which
instalment of the Rambo series is not?
with one exception this time round, the mission seem genuinely
real. John Rambo is fighting an existing enemy. You heard
of missing missionaries and people being captured by militias
in the news all the time. And Stallone never shy from the
reality. The level of carnage here is not for the squeamish.
Bodies being blown up by landmines and dismembered limbs are
everywhere. There’s even a shot of a child being bayonet.
You get the picture.
year, Stallone manages to redeem his flagging career with
the success of “Rocky Balboa”. But with “Rambo
4”, the message is never clear, it started out on an
educational tone but ended with a 30 minutes finale that will
make “Saving Private Ryan” and even the “Saw”
franchises look even tamer than a lion.
the time the credits rolled, all you remembered you just walked
down memory lane with an old friend, John Rambo accompanied
with the familiar themes from the late Jerry Goldsmith. Yes
his trademark bow and arrows are still around. John Rambo
uttered the words, “Live for nothing or die for something”.
This perhaps best sum up Stallone’s way of ending this
(Rambo 4 is pure escapism)
Review by Linus Tee