Rambo Sylvester Stallone

Rambo Sylvester Stallone
You have to give it to Sly: not many 60-year olds who based their career on physique can rely on their bods past their 50s, or even 40s. And yet one of cinema’s greatest action heroes brought back not just his triumphant boxer Rocky Balboa but also Vietnam-damaged war hero John Rambo, both after he earned his free senior’s bus pass. Stallone proved he could portray Rocky one last time, and the same thing surprisingly works for Rambo, a character that is much more physically demanding. The fourth film in the franchise is set almost 20 years after the third instalment, finding our hero as a snake gatherer in Thailand living a worthless, yet somewhat tranquil, life. When a group of Christian missionaries arrive asking him to take them to Burma to bring aid to war torn villages, Rambo obliges with hesitation — he knows he’s going to have to clean up the mess. And he does, taking on the entire corrupt Burmese army on his own, blowing them to smithereens one by one, just like when Weird Al parodied him in UHF. Rambo is an adrenaline rush that revisits the conscience-less action hero flicks of the ’80s and fills the void many of us have felt over the last two decades of "meaningful” cinema. Sure, there’s unapologetic racism and gratuitous violence but hey, what’s a Rambo film without unrealistic brutality and misrepresentation of "foreign” culture? In his commentary, Stallone immediately addresses his decision to invade Burma, saying he’s educating the viewer on Burma’s problems, not making a fantasy film ("If the truth is violent then so be it,” he adds). Explaining how the film was shot through "Rambo’s eyes,” hence the jittery movement, he also jokes about the tough shoot, with tourists getting in the way while saying "hi” to him and asking for a photo ("You wouldn’t mind being beheaded, would you?” he mumbles as a reply). The deleted scenes are all drama, no action, which means they’re a bore and worth avoiding. A featurette showing the glowing reaction the film received includes a thumbs-up from Arnie the Governator at the premiere, and Sly furthers his defence of Burma as a setting in "Legacy of Despair,” a jaw-dropping revelation about the country’s treacherous political climate. Plus: featurettes, digital copy. (Maple)