Sylvester Stallone has become a venerated brand name in Hollywood action movies. The Sly Stallone brand guarantees heart pounding, edge-of-your-seat adrenaline pumping full-blooded thrills. All this was delivered, as promised, in the fourth installment of the Rambo series.
After bringing Rocky Balboa back to the big screen, 61 year-old Stallone is reviving John James Rambo in one of the most anticipated sequels since Rocky Balboa and before the fourth Indiana Jones.
The movie begins with John Rambo living a simple, secluded peasant life in Bangkok, when a group of Christian human rights missionaries, led by Michael Burnett (Paul Schulze) and Sarah Miller (Julie Benz), approach Rambo and ask him to bring them up the river to a war-stricken Burma. The missionaries are ambushed and taken hostage by the murderous Burmese military led by sadistic Major Pa Tee Tint. The news reaches the United States, and Rambo is commissioned to lead a group of mercenaries to rescue the captive missionaries. In the great tradition of the Rambo trilogy, John J. Rambo becomes a one-man army and not only has to rescue the missionaries, but the mercenaries as well.
As opposed to the previous three installments, decapitations, dismembered and mutilated body parts are not uncommon throughout Rambo IV, earning it an understandable R rating. In one scene, we see Rambo dig his fingers in a Burmese soldier’s throat and rip it out. Rambo IV definitely has some of the most realistic and gory action scenes I have ever seen, even more so than Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan.
The sequel is a return to the great action movies of the 80’s and 90’s. It combines old-school action excitement with modern editing and visual effects to provide a riveting movie, something that Hollywood has lacked in recent years.
John Rambo is monosyllabic as usual, and the overall dialogue is kept quite simple. Rambo’s actions always speak louder than his words. Let’s face it, no one buys a ticket to go see a Rambo movie for the dialogue. Rambo IV is definitely the best action movie of the year. Sly does it again, but remember, this movie is not for the faint of heart.