Harry wants a new RAMBO movie Every Year!
Last night AICN hosted a screening of RAMBO. There doesn't seem to be a lot of screenings of this out there - but we filled two theaters loaded with people eager to see a RAMBO movie - and man... afterwards - we all had these goofy grins. In our Q&A with Stallone - he stated that his opinion of what an Action film is supposed to do, is to tighten the abdominal muscle group and be a visceral ride.
I don't think I've ever heard a director so completely understand the purpose of an action movie. A great action movie is supposed to make you shit your pants. (only, without the shit) You're supposed to grip the armrest and/or date. You're supposed to squirm in your seat and say things like "Holy Shit" or my favorite - the "oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck" chant. You know what your reaction is to a great action sequence. Some play it cool - just smiling or clenching their teeth. Others spill their drinks. Whatever your reaction to great action on screen... you'll have that reaction, then some with RAMBO.
I've read somewhere that the film starts off a tad on the slow side... Yeah - if starting off slow is setting up these Burmese bastards as the most evil fucks ever... by them blowing people up, shooting them to pieces and just plain being evil bastards. The film begins by educating us about the history of the Burma situation. How long it has been going on... and how horrible the atrocities are. This is footage of the real thing. It's pretty tough.
Now RAMBO isn't a subtle film. There's not a lot of shades of grey here. The missionaries that convince him to "take them up river" - well, they're just good natured pure folk. I've recently become friends with some folks that do and aspire to do missionary work and frankly... These characters are pretty darn accurate. They've got that glow or purity about them... not through cheesy lenses and lighting, but just that faith based sense of purpose. None of these actors seem familiar in the least.
Then there's RAMBO... He's kinda fucking hilarious. No, he's not cracking jokes and doing stand-up. It's just... I can't think of the last time I saw a character on screen that just didn't give a shit about anybody else on screen. He's just his own person. He does what he wants, when he wants to do it. He has absolutely no respect for authority... at all. Remember the Quaker Oats man in HARD TARGET - well imagine if Stallone had been cast in that part - and wasn't asked to be cajun... and you're kinda close.
It's strange to look at RAMBO - physically - he's nearly a completely different creation from FIRST BLOOD and the other two Rambo films as well. Here - you have a man that just an anvil of a man. He's strong enough to get whatever he needs done. His arms are tree stumps covered in veinal vines. You just have to love him. Every second of him. He's cantankerous, prickly and oh so irritable. He just wants to live out his life on this river... catching snakes and selling them to the snake act people.
When the missionaries show up, he just doesn't really want to have anything to do with them. They're the sort of people that he doesn't really know how to relate with. They care. Their hearts are filled with love for their fellow humanity. They believe in making a difference, in the basic good in the soul of mankind. Basically, they believe in everything that Rambo, through his life, has learned was a crock of shit. But - of course - the pretty girl talks him into it. So up river they go.
Of course it was a bad idea. The movie is called RAMBO... you know somebody is going to have a bad idea and RAMBO is going to have to deal with it. And Rambo isn't a non-invasive surgical tool. He's not even blunt force trauma. No. When Rambo gets started - he makes the nightmare monsters of horror films seem like the cuddly things you hang on a mobile above your baby's crib. He's not just death... he's really bad death. He's the closed casket version of death. No amount of mortician's wax is gonna fix the wreckage that he's going to do to the bodies he comes across... especially when the third act hits.
Now - here's the extra cool part of this RAMBO movie. Rambo isn't alone. He's got a pack of mercs. Those guys you can hire in the back of Soldier of Fortune magazine. Ex-SAS, Navy Seals - and just general mutherfuckers. Guys that'll do anything for a buck... but also the sort that would call it quits - cuz they don't have morality. Rambo does though.
So basically - you know the story. Missionaries are fucked - Rambo and the mercs go to save them... the plan gets fucked... and then the screen turns into a bloody fourth of July. You remember Sam Mendes' JARHEAD? Remember where they have everyone watching the Flight of the Valkyries sequence of APOCALYPSE NOW? Well - the last 50 minutes or so of this film are the sort of thing - that no amount of First Person Shooter game playing can give you. It's an adrenal orgasm. It makes you want to fire fireworks and scream, "FUCK YEAH!"
Stallone - on the heels of ROCKY BALBOA and RAMBO has completely reclaimed his title as the badass of cinema. There's no other actor on film right now that can compare. He's Lee Marvin, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood's ID MONSTER.
You know... THE WILD BUNCH? I love THE WILD BUNCH. In the history of old tired fucks fucking shit up - it's the balls. It's the best directed sequence of "FUCK IT" filmmaking. Where a crazed Peckinpah sat there and said... I'll give them something they ain't ever dreamt of. And he did. Sam, god bless him, he constructed a sequence that is just the stuff of tequila tears.
When the worm turns in RAMBO and the world is about to twist the knife and it's a bleak no-win scenario... That's when RAMBO kicks in... and man... Wherever Peckinpah was when he thought up that KILL EM ALL bit... that's where Stallone went... Only... man... you ain't ever seen this shit before. It's hinted at throughout the film. You can tell that the world is evil. That this high calibre bang bang... well, it isn't late 1800's guns... this is the mayhem and hell that only the 21st century weaponry can unleash and it's evil evil fucking human fireworks. And it is fun.
How many bullets were fired in the MATRIX films without any REAL damage? Here... Stallone reminds you what this shit does. He grabs you by the scruff of the neck and shakes you to say - THIS IS WHAT MODERN WARFARE AND HELL LOOKS LIKE! And it is glorious.
When you see RAMBO this weekend - be prepared, cuz when the film knocks it up to that final gear... jesus will weep - and you will cheer!
RAMBO would kick Jason Bourne's pansy ass!