Rambo (2008) Recap

Jamie

Rambo is back, Jack! Living contently in Thailand wrangling snakes, Rambo is convinced to bring some missionaries into war-torn Myanmar. When they are captured he goes in with mercenaries to get them back, no matter the cost. Can he get them back and take down the bad guy before it’s too late? Find out in… Rambo.

How?! Rambo is still living his life in Thailand catching snakes for a living (obviously). When some missionaries come looking to hire him to bring them over the border to war-torn Myanmar he’s like “… … … no” but the female missionary, Sarah, sees good in Rambo and convinces him to help them. So he’s like “… … … yes.” On the way in, they get attacked by pirates and the missionaries are shocked by Rambo’s ruthlessness in dispatching them. He drops them off only to find out a short time later that they were all kidnapped by a monstrous military group. Joining up with some mercenaries being sent in for a rescue, he immediately sets about killing members of the military group who are torturing hostages. This is much to the surprise of the mercenaries who didn’t expect to have the boatman turn out to be a killing machine. Using Rambo’s skillz they are able to infiltrate the camp and retake the prisoners, but Rambo has to stay behind to personally save Sarah. Coming up behind he does all kinds of classic Rambo traps and comes in just at the right moment to mow down THE ENTIRE ARMY with a big  ol’ gun. People literally explode with bullets. At the end, Sarah looks around to find Rambo and his sweet bod, but he’s already gone, ready to find out whether he can restart his life in Arizona. THE END. Big Question: Do you think Rambo kills people any other times in his life but they just don’t make a movie about it? Seems like every ten years he kills like 400 people and then takes a break.

Why?! Again, ain’t no motivation for Rambo other than rescuing some innocents. Really I think that answers the above question… like how often does he have to rescue an innocent from the clutches of a bad guy. Pretty rare. I personally have never had to. So if he’s hanging around the market and a dude steals a lady’s purse he ain’t batting an eye. That lady is safely out of the clutches of a bad guy, and that purse ain’t an innocent. Open and shut case.

Who?! One of the mercenaries is shown singing a couple different blues songs and I was like “oh, he’s pretty good and the songs are pretty good.” Little did I know he was actual blues singer-turned-actor Jake La Botz. We’ll see him again in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter… probably in an El Presidente cycle or something. 

What?! It’s almost like these films get smaller and smaller. So while earlier films had a number of things for the different sections, the later films became more and more about Sly himself and almost nothing else. However, I can always ask the question whether I would be fortunate to have a full Rambo costume available to buy online. My God. Only 3000 pounds. A steal!

Where?! Once again split between Thailand and the main setting. In this case war-torn Myanmar. Unlike the second and third films, I don’t think the context makes this entirely indispensable. So B+ this time.

When?! I can only assume this continues to trend of taking place when the film was made. In this case seems to be mostly 2007 in Myanmar during or following the Saffron Revolution (given the news footage shown at the beginning of the film). D+

Oh boy… I hated this film. It is gross and looks bad and I didn’t like it. For BMT I don’t really allow for the argument that a film was perhaps “not made for me.” All bad films were made for us. Even kids’ films and rom coms. They are all part of one big BMT universe. Not this. I’m not sure who this was made for but I’m sure they had a great time watching this trash. Maybe Sly just made it for himself. This is the one he wrote and directed so… I guess this is his gross terrible vision. I did not enjoy it. 2 ½ stars.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! My mind is slowly melting as I watch what seems like an unending series of Rambo films. This is probably the worst one … you know the one that seems like it was only made to show Rambo chop people in half with a giant gun. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I knew this one wasn’t going to be very nice for me. This is basically the flyer Stallone put out to prove that films like this (and The Expendables series, and other very military / gun focused films) could make a decent return at the box office. But guess what? I’ve said it a number of times, these films aren’t for me. They make me feel gross. I don’t like them. But I have to watch it, so watch it I will. What are my expectations? That I’ll feel profoundly sad after watching this film. If I don’t, that’ll be a win for me.

The Good – Hmmmmm. I truly believe this is what Stallone envisioned action films would become since the 80s. I think he kind of saw that as technology advances and the money flowed in that people would basically want to see giants guns, and muscles, and America. But as he was slowly getting a grip on the entire means of production in the 80s his career faltered and he kind of became a parody of himself. He made a small comeback with Cop Land, and that gave Old Stallone just enough juice to start pushing for The Expendables specifically. I truly believe this film was a means to an end. He got to give his character the ending he thought he deserved (he’s on record saying this one is his favorite), and he, I think, parlayed its modest success into The Expendables which became the giant high octane action film he had envisioned (just … 20 years later). I don’t find any of this good, but a lot of people do including Stallone, so I thought it deserved detailing out my little theory … but no, I find nothing in this film redeeming in the least.

The Bad – I find this movie gross. From the way they formulate the sub-human villains so that you cheer on Stallone as he mercilessly mows them down with a giant gun. Much like Death Wish or The Expendables series, it feels like it fetishizes guns and murder and dressed it up with villains which dare you to sympathize their gross deaths. Stallone, for all of his bluster in old interviews about trying to write apolitically, makes overtly political statements with each and every one of these movies. These movies aren’t for me. This is the worst of the bunch, with little redeeming qualities. The end.

The BMT – Yeah, as much as any of the films like this are. I don’t like them, I get why other people like them. They are like Madea films. I will likely come and say the same thing about every Madea film I watch: I didn’t really find this funny, but I get why some people do. I don’t get why people like Rambo IV, I think it is a total bastardization of the character and what it stands for. But I get why people like movies like this. Did it meet my expectations? Nope, I felt gross at the end. All I wanted was to not feel gross.

Roast-radamus – Again, kind of an amazing setting film for Setting as a Character (Where?) because I down Burma is going to get much play in bad movies in general.I don’t think there is much else to consider for this one as there was no obvious product placement. I think this has a real good chance for Bad though in the end because I can’t think of a film I’ve liked watching less.

StreetCreditReport.com – I find it rather impressive. I looked at maybe 20 lists since, apparently, 2008 was the heydey of the online worst-of list for film. And literally none of them contained Rambo. One had it as an honorable mention, but that was it. I would definitely give this one the worst Rambo award if it was up to me. I think that it might be up to Sylvester Stallone though, so I might be out of luck at getting that officially recognized.

You Just Got Schooled – As I said in the other recaps I’ve been Rambo all day every day and nothing but Rambo, so there was little to learn. I will say that throughout the years there have been porn parodies of the various Rambo films. This one having one though? Thats something else. It’s called Rambone XXX: A DreamZone Parody and I will never watch it. And, again, I said I would do it: Jamie’s podcast Mac East 2nd Floor Studios Presents Submersion did an episode on the animated Rambo series Rambo: The Force of Freedom (Episode 79). And naturally I’m the super secret guest star. We get to learn all about who are the best co-host combinations in Submersion history. The competition heats up!

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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