The fourth installment into the Rambo franchise is one of the most violent movies ever. Our hero used to just mow people down with machine guns, exploding arrows, and the occasional knife to the throat. But now, he maims people: severing limbs, gutting, and tearing throat with bare hand. It all plays out like a combo of “Friday the 13th Part IV” and every war movie made in the 80’s. So yeah, it’s pretty cool.
The setup is a bit rough, though. We’re led to believe that a group of Christian doctors would have the nuts to go to one of the most violent areas on the planet, just to give medicine to the sick. This could happen in reality, but it wouldn’t happen in this movie, because the actors who play the Christians don’t summon enough emotion to pull it off.
Rambo doesn’t buy it either. He tells the dumbass martyrs to go home, but they’re on a mission from God. So he takes them upriver to the asshole of the world and drops them off. They disappear. He’s hired to get them back. End of story.
Begin killing spree.
The death is all beautifully orchestrated, perfectly timed, and insanely awesome. For once, CG violence that absolutely does not suck. The final 25 minutes of Rambo feel like a carnival ride. And when he makes his final kill, it’s hard to watch; because damn, does it have to end?
When it does end, the story leaves a surprisingly resonant message: that martyrdom is retarded, and only leads to more death. As the son of a Vietnam vet, all I can say to that is, “Right on.”
Photo by happy-batatinha via Flickr