RAMBO! Oh yeah. Check your brain at the door, and have a good time.
I caught Rambo IV the other night. Two big thumbs up on this one. Now obviously, you’ve probably read some reviews by actual film critics that made fun of the plot, the acting, the pace, the violence, or its deeper meaning, or whatever kind of tripe film critics who’ve never actually done anything in their lives come up with to bitch about, and these reviews have been negative.
That’s because these critics don’t understand the beauty of Rambo! You don’t watch a Rambo moving looking for things like plot. You watch Rambo in order to see bad guys get killed. A lot. So on that score, I had a great time with this one.
There was a plot though. A bunch of Christian missionary peaceniks go into war-torn Burma to try and help the villagers. A semi-retired Rambo slips them in, where they promptly get kidnapped in a massive villager massacre. So Rambo and some mercs go back in to rescue them. See, told you there was a plot.
One note though, why is it that Christian missionaries are always portrayed as total wimps, totally out of touch with how reality works? Heck, I was a missionary for two years. If Rambo had told me, don’t go there, because the army will rape you to death, I would have listened! I laughed out loud at the line when Rambo asked them if they were bringing weapons, and they said of course not, and Rambo replied with “Then you’ll change nothing.” But then again, I’m a missionary turned gun-runner, so I might be biased.
The violence was actually pretty shocking. The bad guys burn a village, and they’re doing things like bayoneting children and tossing babies into burning huts. When people step on a landmine in this flick, they don’t do the stuntman windmill flip over the propane explosion, rather there’s a blast, and a bunch of limbs and a five gallon bucket full of blood fly into the air. I was down with the massacre though, because as I watched it, I knew that in Rambo movies, there is always a proportional relationship wherein Evil of Bad Guys < Ass Kicking Bad Guys Get At End.
The mercs were a fun bunch of stereotypes. They were handy, because Rambo’s in his sixties, he can’t kill the entire Burmese army by himself, maybe 80% of them, tops. As a gun guy, I was excited to see a Sig 551 and a tricked out FAL (because magazine compatibility is for chumps) but then they promptly lost those guns, and the final fight was just with standard AKs. I did get a kick out of the 150 pound sniper dude carrying around a Barrett M82 for the whole movie. I have an M82 in my shop. Come by and pick it up sometime, and then tell me exactly how this guy was sprinting through the forest with it for hours. Then when the camera goes to a close up, the sniper is grimacing as he tries to lift it over a branch. Rubber gun… Real gun… movie magic.
Then the ass kicking commences, and Rambo just goes hog wild. I will admit, even though I knew it wasn’t realistic at all, and heck, I teach about wound ballistics, but remember I checked my brain at the door, watching all those Burmese explode really made me want to get myself a .50 BMG.
At the very end, head Christian missionary guy takes out a soldier with a rock, prompting the question, What Would Jesus Do? Apparently brain that guy with a rock is what! I just get tired of the morally conflicted, wussy Christian movie stereotype. Looking back at world history, Christians don’t seem to have much of a problem when it comes to stepping up to the plate and whacking somebody, going back at least to that whole Crusade thing.
Overall? Rambo rocked.