January 25, 2008

Rambo

Strangely enough, I wasn't all that excited to see this movie. I loved Rambo (First Blood Part II) when I was a kid, but this one.. I dunno, I guess I was afraid it'd be as corny as those "let the bodies hit the floor" commercials I've been seeing for it. And it's been so many years, and Rambo was such an '80s product, man.. How could a new Rambo movie possibly be good?

I was at Target this morning buying some groceries, and the guy in front of me in the checkout lane was talking to the cashier (someone he knew, I'm assuming), saying he'd seen the midnight showing of Rambo and it was "surprisingly awesome." So that's pretty much what made me decide to see it today. I thought, Why not? Might as well get it out of my system..

Well, the guy was absolutely right. The movie is surprisingly awesome. Sure, there are things to complain about -- I thought some of the actors and dialogue were cringe-worthy. But what matters is that Stallone hasn't lost his edge at all. He dishes out the asskickery, and he does it on an epic scale. The story was kind of your standard template, but that didn't bother me at all -- I really got into it and felt the adrenaline.

It's also possibly the most violent movie I've ever seen. Seriously. I don't know how they managed to get an R rating instead of NC-17. There's some seriously disturbing stuff onscreen. Don't go into it expecting an average level of action-violence. It's pretty brutal.

And the brutality, on some levels, carries a message. Stallone's showing us the state of things in Burma - in real world Burma, today, right now. As he recently said in an MSNBC interview: “No one knows about Burma. Burma is a horrendous situation ... It’s the longest-running civil war in the world — 60 years against these peasants — and it’s horrifying. It isn’t just a civil war. This is torture, beheadings, cannibalism, buried-alive children — it’s the most horrific situation on the planet.”

So, would I recommend you go see the movie? .. That depends on who you are. I wouldn't want my mom to see this movie. :) Some people are gonna hate it (probably without ever giving it a chance), some people are gonna love it. I'm one of the people that loved it. After Rocky Balboa (which I thought was great) and now this, I feel like we've seen one man's quest to bring closure to his most famous roles, and to do it the right way. You can tell that he's past the point in his career where he cares about the paychecks.. These characters are personal to him, and he deserves kudos for sending 'em out on a satisfying note.