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Kick-ass action all around and although the story is on the basic side and has minimal character development for Rambo himself, just a bloody, albeit too much of it CGI'd, entertaining especially an action-fest finale. Amazing, especially being the fourth entry into the series.
_**Intense with more depth than you might think**_ John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) is alone, bitter and living hand-to-mouth in Thailand when a group of Christian missionaries enlist him to take them into Burma (aka Myanmar) to aid a village. Rambo discourages them in light of the political instability, which includes persecutions and mass slayings, but they insist. Weeks later he learns that the missionaries are missing so he goes back with a group of mercenaries. "Rambo" (2008) is the fourth installment in the franchise after "First Blood" (1982), "Rambo: First Blood Part II" (1985) and "Rambo III" (1988). I'm a huge fan of the first one, which I think is an action/adventure masterpiece, but the next two films are too comic-booky and the characters are cardboard, although Stallone never looked better and the locations are fabulous. This third sequel makes up for that because it's not comic booky at all and there's quite a bit of depth, albeit not much in dialogue form. It combines elements of "Apocalypse Now," "The Killing Fields" & the first two Rambo films and is grim & intense from beginning to end, not to mention it's one of the most violent films ever made. The picture powerfully illustrates the best and worst in humanity. The Christian missionaries are willing to risk everything to help the villagers, whereas the Myanmar militarists revel in slaughtering scores of unarmed people for "fun"; they're also shown abusing/raping women and boys. Obviously they've given themselves wholly over to the darkside of their natures. Such reprobates are only worthy of one thing: Utter annihilation. Several important themes are addressed in the picture besides the main one: * BITTERNESS/DESPAIR AND DELIVERANCE. The beginning of the film shows Rambo in a state of utter bitterness: He's just existing. He has no friends. He doesn't talk much and, when he does, it's few words laced with expletives. The male leader of the missionaries is completely unable to talk him into helping them. Two Biblical proverbs state "a gentle answer turns away wrath" and "a gentle tongue can break a bone." The female missionary (Julie Benz) knows this and skillfully talks John into helping them. Yet there's more going on here. This woman with a heart of gold is Rambo's "golden connection" out of the rut of bitterness. Despite his gruff exterior, she sees something in him, something in his eyes – a good heart, even greatness, a genuine glimmer, however faint. Is Rambo helping the missionaries or is she the one helping him? John instinctively realizes the rope she's throwing him and takes hold of it. There's nothing sensual about their relationship, despite her attractiveness; it's solely spiritual. She stirs in him the hope and faith he's been longing for. * VIOLENCE IS NOT ALWAYS NECESSARY. Although this is a very violent film it skillfully shows when pacifism _is_ appropriate. Note the incident on Rambo's riverboat when the lead mercenary continually insults John and tries to provoke him into a fight. Rambo just ignores him, not even saying a word. In other words, he refuses to allow someone to victimize him and draw him into a conflict that has no positive purpose. It takes true strength to do this and Rambo has this strength. Indeed, John treats the guy as if he's a bothersome gnat. What do you do when a gnat bothers you? Do you break out a machine gun or merely ignore it? This is the "turn the cheek" principle. * TOTAL PACIFISM DOES NOT WORK. The New Testament does not support the idea of absolute pacifism, but rather limited pacifism (only resorting to violence when justified). For instance, Christ’s ministry team had a treasury box with loads of money and some of his workers carried swords for protection from thieves & murderers. Also, Romans 13 clearly states that the righteous laws of human governments are God-ordained for the purpose of punishing criminals, including the right to execute when appropriate. The vast majority of sane Christians realize this, but there are a few extremists who refuse to be BALANCED with the Scriptures on this topic and insist that conflict, and especially armed conflict, is never appropriate. The lead male missionary represents such a person, but perhaps he'll learn the error of his ways. The simple fact is: Some people are so degenerate and evil that execution is the only just ultimate reaction (notice I said "ultimate"). * RAMBO’S SPIRITUAL REBIRTH. The first two sequels show Rambo searching for truth and flirting with religion and spirituality. In the second film he gets a Buddhist necklace off the Asian woman he befriends and at the beginning of "Rambo III" he is shown living & working at a Buddhist temple helping the priests; later, he meets and wins the hearts of moderate Islamic villagers and gives his necklace to a Muslim boy who helped him. In this movie the female missionary is key to John's positive transformation; at one point she gently asks him whether or not he has any family in the USA. He mumbles that he might have a father, he wasn't sure, and didn't seem to care. Shortly later she gives him a cross necklace for helping them (he wouldn't take money). Anyway, the end of the film shows Rambo walking to his family ranch in southern Arizona. Obviously John had a positive spiritual metamorphosis in the story that leads to a decade of peace & love before the next film, “Last Blood” (2019). "Rambo" was written & directed by Stallone and shot in Thailand (and Arizona). It’s short & sweet at 1 hour, 32 minutes. Grade: A
Sylvester Stallone is in his element as the eponymous Vietnam veteran who has retreated to a rural community where he acts as a tourist guide for visitors on his ramshackle old PT boat. When he is approached by some human rights folks who want to charter his boat to seek out some missing Christian Aid missionaries up-river in strife-ridden Burma, he eventually acquiesces and they are soon in a world of pain at the hands of the brutally sadistic "Maj. Tint" (Muang Muang Khin). It's an end-to-end action movie, pyrotechnics galore with some seriously graphic - thereby authentic - scenes of violence that have their roots in a plausible storyline based on well documented abuses from South East Asia in the 1970s. The dialogue is a bit gung-ho, but this is about characterisations and Stallone, Graham McTavish ("Lewis") and Julie Benz ("Sarah") help create a suspenseful drama that is light on message and heavy on delivery...
Officer Chan Ka Kui manages to put a major Hong Kong drug dealer behind the bars practically alone, after a shooting and an impressive chase inside a slum. Now, he must protect the boss' secretary, Selina, who will testify against the gangster in court.
Three of the original five "young guns" — Billy the Kid (Emilio Estevez), Jose Chavez y Chavez (Lou Diamond Phillips), and Doc Scurlock (Kiefer Sutherland) — return in Young Guns, Part 2, which is the story of Billy the Kid and his race to safety in Old Mexico while being trailed by a group of government agents led by Pat Garrett.
When rogue stealth-fighter pilot Vic Deakins deliberately drops off the radar while on maneuvers, the Air Force ends up with two stolen nuclear warheads - and Deakins's co-pilot, Riley Hale, is the military's only hope for getting them back. Traversing the deserted canyons of Utah, Hale teams with park ranger Terry Carmichael to put Deakins back in his box.
Hondo Harrelson recruits Jim Street to join an elite unit of the Los Angeles Police Department. Together they seek out more members, including tough Deke Kay and single mom Chris Sanchez. The team's first big assignment is to escort crime boss Alex Montel to prison. It seems routine, but when Montel offers a huge reward to anyone who can break him free, criminals of various stripes step up for the prize.
When the head of a statue sacred to a village is stolen, a young martial artist goes to the big city and finds himself taking on the underworld to retrieve it.
CIA Analyst Jack Ryan is drawn into an illegal war fought by the US government against a Colombian drug cartel.
Mad Max becomes a pawn in a decadent oasis of a technological society, and when exiled, becomes the deliverer of a colony of children.
A "National Geographic" film crew is taken hostage by an insane hunter, who takes them along on his quest to capture the world's largest - and deadliest - snake.
A film adaptation of the classic sword and sorcery hero, Conan the Barbarian. A horde of rampaging warriors massacre the parents of young Conan and enslave the young child for years on The Wheel of Pain. As the sole survivor of the childhood massacre, Conan is released from slavery and taught the ancient arts of fighting. Transforming himself into a killing machine, Conan travels into the wilderness to seek vengeance on Thulsa Doom, the man responsible for killing his family. In the wilderness, Conan takes up with the thieves Valeria and Subotai. The group comes upon King Osric, who wants the trio of warriors to help rescue his daughter who has joined Doom in the hills.
Alex Corvis returns to the world of the living to avenge the murder of his girlfriend, who he was wrongly accused of killing. But first he must uncover the truth about who really killed her.
Tang Lung arrives in Rome to help his cousins in the restaurant business. They are being pressured to sell their property to the syndicate, who will stop at nothing to get what they want. When Tang arrives he poses a new threat to the syndicate, and they are unable to defeat him. The syndicate boss hires the best Japanese and European martial artists to fight Tang, but he easily finishes them off.