Skip to main content

Rambo (2008)

Rambo. Feature film. (2008, 92 mins) IMDB

...action films won't die, or John Rambo...


was surprised to see Stallone directed this film and surprised even further how effective it was. RAMBO is another action film, but there's a level of visuals and direction that hasn't been seen before (at least by me).

The film works on this principle: create some nasty baddies, so bad we want to see them harmed and stopped. With that in place, enter our hero to make it happen and smile as it happens. Pump a fist into the air in triumph. If you feel those moments, you'll probably like the film. I felt those moments in this film.

I can remember watching the film in the theatre that started it all way back when. FIRST BLOOD, based on a novel by David Morrell (we went to the same high school but at different times), changed the lexicon of the public. The word Rambo had meaning. That film was a big hit and I can remember details from watching it even though it's been 25 years. Some films are like that.

The story line for this edition of the franchise is straightforward. John Rambo lives a meek existence in Thailand. He owns a boat for travelling up and down the rivers. He catches cobras and other wild snakes for money.

Enter the inciting incident. A bunch of missionaries and health professionals want to hire him to take them and their supplies up the river to a spot in Burma. He doesn't want to do it and advises against it. Burma is a war zone. Don't go there. The sole woman in the group convinces him to do it and he ferries them north. There's an encounter with pirates along the way which he handles with deadly force. He takes them to a village and returns downstream.

The village is attacked by a gang of military thugs. Here are the ultimate baddies. They kill indiscriminately, they pillage, they rape. They aren't solders, they are merciless thugs. In the process of the attack, several of the visitors are killed, the rest are taken hostage and imprisoned.

There were scenes in this film that reminded me of APOCALYPSE NOW. A boat on a river. Danger lurking everywhere. Bamboo cages.

Rambo isn't anywhere near the attack and has no reason to get involved further. Enter a man who wants to hire him to ferry mercenaries up the river to rescue the people. Another step in the story.

The mercenaries don't know Rambo and don't respect him. They think he's a wimp. It helps to have a Brit play an arrogant asshole.

What follows is a great deal of violence as the team infiltrate the thug's compound, rescue the prisoners and make their escape. It's predictable but since we want to see certain people get theirs, we want to watch.

The level of violence in this film goes to new heights it seems to me. When a local steps on a land mine in a rice field, the explosion isn't simply a cloud of grey smoke. There's water and it's saturated red from the blood and flesh of the victim. A giant flash of red.

When someone is shot, blood spurts out. When Rambo fires a .50 cal on the soldiers, arms and legs are severed.

The level of realism is gruesome. I'm sure it will upset some people.

How were these effects created? Most likely with CGI. If that's the case, it's not obvious and cheap looking CGI and not over done.

Posted 2009/05/11 at 20h31ET in Movie Commentary.


Popular posts from this blog

Day 8: Writing a Novel—The Deep Blue Hold

Thursday, November 24th, 2016 Note: Unedited writings from my notebook for this novel. Square bracket items represent added comments.
At 15:53 Office ... This was a Chinese ship with Chinese officers. He didn't need some damn Dutch sailor to tell him how to run his ship.... Y esterday was a day of distraction and writer’s block as I didn’t get too far. No new pages and nothing new on the story. Right now I’m stepping back to Tuesday, trying to get my mind around this story. Would it help if to read what I have. [Draft pages of the novel.] ____ Later. What I have is okay. It’s working. Of course it needs edits but that’s for another day. I think I worked out the broad strokes for Chps. 4, 5 & 6.
Chp. 4 Captain on ship Chp. 5 Family back home Chp. 6. Leanne tending to her wounds
Time to brainstorm some ideas for Chp. 4. It’s dawn. People getting up for morning routine. There will be a change of watch. Cross checking containers… The captain will be getting up to start…


Friday, March 31, 2017

You’d think BONE would rhyme with GONE but no. This is the English language after all. But BONE does rhyme with LOAN so we’ll spell it BOAN. It will take some time to update all the existing writings but it can be done. Meanwhile, if you smash up your car, the insurance company will allow you to get a LOANER and if you happen to meet the right person you may get a BOANER. boan Post comments on facebook page Posted 2017/03/31 at 17h28ET in Words.

Days 9-108: Writing a Novel—The Deep Blue Hold

November 25th, 2016 to March 5, 2017 Note: Unedited writings from my notebook for this novel. Square bracket items represent added comments.
At 15:53 Office ... And so began a three month odyssey away from writing this novel, The Deep Blue Hold.... W herein I try to explain why I stopped working on this novel. The shortest answer is I gave up. The short explanation is I struggle with mental health issues (MDD, GAD, PTSD) that paralyse me at times. When it happens, I’m not able to do much of anything. Don’t want to do anything and that includes things one might expect to enjoy. For a while I spent time trying to create some thirty-second videos that would play a word puzzle like a crossword. Here’s the clue. Here’s the blank spaces. And after an interval, one of the letters would appear until all the letters appear. A bit of a crossword puzzle in that sometimes you come to a word where crossover words give you certain letters and you have to fill in the rest. A bit like that TV…