Movie Review: Rambo (2008)

Hey all, my name is Mike but my handle around these parts will be Phntmbanana. I got a chance to take a look at Rambo the new Stallone flick, and it was certainly a view to behold. It pushed the boundaries of violence in movies to a point I have never seen before, and I thought of this as a very big plus. The rest of the movie however, was dull, bleak and uninteresting. In the very short 1 hour and 33 min run time only about 20-25 minutes were enjoyable.

To say the least, this movie is definitely catering towards a certain audience which I happen to be a part of. If you want to see things being blown up and extreme violence look no further because it delivers and then some. The action in Rambo was like nothing I have ever seen before and I was smiling throughout the action sequences because they were taut, intense and exhilarating. There were parts of this movie that almost made the whole hunk of junk worth it and to say the least Stallone kicks as much ass as ever. The direction in the movie was really great and I loved how it was shot and the sound effects were well done as well. Sadly that is all I really liked about this movie and like I said previously, this took up a very small portion of the running time.

The bad with this movie was first and foremost the story. It just felt tired and like I had seen the same thing before a million times. The old “boatman” knows the river better than anyone else so he is asked to bring the happy little volunteers – of which Michael Burnett (Paul Schulze) and Sarah Miller (Julie Benz) are a part of – to the nethermost regions of Burma to change the world with bibles and care packages. During the trip John Rambo (Stallone) gives his bleak outlook on how nothing will ever change but eventually changes his mind because of the girl in the group. He brings them up the river to their destination and then leaves. But when the village is destroyed and the missionaries are captured, he comes back with a rag tag group of mercenaries who all have their own bad ass little stories, but it just ends up being a group of tough guy cliches.

I really enjoyed Stallone in this movie and that seems to be a common theme. Most of the time if he is doing something cool then Rambo is great but when he leaves the screen the movie suffers. I really dislike Julie Benz who plays the female lead in this movie, just like I dislike her in the show Dexter. She just feels tacked on and annoying along with the other volunteers who seem like really fake characters. The movie moves at the speed of molasses for about half the movie with a plot that is obvious and dull. I liked how he tried to have a message here, with the key word being tried. I felt like it was a rehash of Blood Diamond, a film I really enjoyed, that worked a lot better.

All in all if you are looking for an adrenaline rush then you may want to show up for this one about 45 minutes late as you will get your money’s worth in the last half. I was amazed at how many kids I saw at this theater (at least 6 or 7) so be warned – this is not for them or for those with a weak stomach. I would like to say the last half makes up for the first and in some ways it does, but ultimately the product just ends up being a mediocre film with some action sequences that you would have to see to believe.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
2 Star Rating: Bad


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'Movie Review: Rambo (2008)' have 10 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 27, 2008 @ 7:46 am Jeremy

    If you love blood & guts, this movie is for you. The number of people exploding, being decapitated and horribly maimed is beyond belief.

    On the whole though, I don’t think Stallone did his storied character justice. More care should have went in to this, especially since it is supposedly the last film of the series.

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 27, 2008 @ 8:05 am ivica

    I don’t like this movie, it is similiar to third part where just shooting and fighting, no real story. I like only first part of this series, and reality about people who back from war and nobody care about them. Second part also could be watched, but third and forth part is just waste of time.

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 27, 2008 @ 3:52 pm NoName

    Well I’ve never been a fan of Rambo but now that I’ve read this I will surely not see it

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 27, 2008 @ 10:42 pm derek

    Rambo 4 is finally up!! have been waiting for a long time. Sylvester stallone is 62 years old and he look so fit and strong!. I am a dedicated fan of rambo series as well as rocky series. ITS OUT IN THE CINEMA!!!!! Everyone.. catch it or regret ir!. I heard its the last movie of Sylvester stallone

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 28, 2008 @ 12:54 am Puneet

    hey “derek” … ur right frd… he is 62 yrs old but still he look so fit and strong! … maintained himself so well …. i appreciate his hard work.

    I am also a die hard fan of rambo (parts) and rocky as well.

    Sylvester stallone Rocks ;)

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 28, 2008 @ 1:54 pm pez

    WHo needs a story? Its all about Rambo kicking ass and taking names. It sounds to me like Stallone has delivered.

  7. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 17, 2008 @ 11:06 pm tristan

    I was looking forward to this because of friends lame reviews but looking at this and the rating + comments I may reconsider.

  8. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 27, 2008 @ 10:06 am Moriarte

    Alternate Title:

    Rambo-4 arms


    This film had such a weak story line it could only be strung out for an hour and a half. It basically concerns a group of christian missionaries being held hostage in Burma, and Rambo, along with a group of mercenaries, being contracted by a Pastor to free them.

    Rambo 4 is in stark contrast to the other Rambos where he muscle posed his way to self glory. In this film, however, he must have been too self conscious of his love handles and sausage veins that the central focus of Rambo, and his character as a whole for that matter, was his forearms.

    The Burmese soldiers were portrayed as verminous killing scum who feed live people to pigs, and Sly even makes further propaganda swipes at Burmese generals by portraying the one in this movie as a raper of young boys.

    The killing is so gratuitous and lustful, you wonder what kind of sick, sado-masterbatory audience could enjoy this snuff movie. Rambo manages to effortlessly kill everybody in every imaginable way, and would have encountered more resistance had the Burmese army been replaced by a bunch of grannies armed with knitting needles and balls of wool. And where the hell he manages to find , in the middle of the jungle, some kind of huge, thermo-nuclear device to detonate at short notice is any one’s guess.

    This abomination of a movie further insult by trying to add believability to this sado-wet dream, by allowing Rambo to get a slight nick from a bullet to his shoulder in the last minutes of the film, as he’s mopping up the final remaining Burmese ‘skittle’ soldiers.

    It was a pity Rambo’s Kernel is no longer alive as he was the real star of the Rambo franchise and provided the only hint of class and proper acting.

    Anyone claiming this was just a bit of fun should watch again the actual footage of the suffering of the Burmese people shown at the beginning of this film, appreciate how Sly has tried to glorify himself at their expense, and then should proceed straight to the doctors and have their brains checked out for advanced syphilis.

  9. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 15, 2008 @ 3:14 am Northpaw

    I thought the movie while quite entertaining, didn’t have much of a storyline. If Rambo had paid a price to help out the Sarah (Julie Benz) such as getting shot, then we might see the connection to the personal sacrifices that can bring about real “change” (Instead he hurt his shoulder… not much value in that). There are soldiers in the real world who give up their lives to bring about change for future generations.

    My question; What was the point of the movie? That war can be messy or the fact that Rambo becomes convinced forgotten family is important? Or that someone changed his mind to show that he actually does care?

    While I really enjoyed the movie from an entertainment standpoint It would have been nice to see him “earn a medal” Which so many of our American soldiers earn everyday!

  10. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 2, 2015 @ 10:07 am Mac

    First Blood is still the best out of the Rambo films… 3 and 4 just make him into a super solider. While Rambo 4 is not as bad as the 2nd and 3rd film, I have to agree with you on that Julie Benz’s character was god awful and annoying. She does nothing useful throughout the whole film, her character serves no purpose. Here’s an example

    She does nothing but look worry and cry… god how I wanted her to die!

    Oh and by the way, the real Burmese soldiers are verminous killing scum. Overseas Burmese have praised the movie for its vivid portrayal of the military’s oppression of the Karen people.

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