Sylvester Stallones claim to fame is the iconic characters of Rocky and Rambo, and he doesnt tire of recycling both of them.
When youre pushed, killin is as easy as breathin, growls ex-Green Beret John Rambo, whos been living as a recluse in northern Thailand, where he runs a motor boat and wrangles poisonous snakes on the Salween River near the Burma border, where a long-running civil war still rages. Maybe he has clandestine meetings with Capt. Willard from Apocalypse Now. Who knows?
Then a group of Colorado human rights missionaries wamts to rent his boat to transport medical supplies and Bibles upriver to struggling Karen villagers; the Burmese military has strewn landmines along the roads.
Are you taking guns? Rambo inquires. Of course not! Then youll change nothing.
Rambo turns them down, but the groups only woman, Sarah (Julie Benz of Dexter), convinces him to change his mind.
Yet after he drops them off at their destination, theyre ambushed and taken prisoner by sadistic Burmese soldiers. Of course, the churchs pastor (Ken Howard) relies on Rambo to execute a rescue mission. Reluctantly, the bandana-wearing renegade rounds up a squad of nasty mercenaries – and then the loud, violent, relentless carnage begins, taking the R-rating to its utmost, stupefying limits.
Claiming that he devised this fourth installment with geopolitical relevance namely, to draw attention to the need for aid in war-torn Burma (Myanmar) writer/director/actor Stallone has clearly made a vanity project. Hes even included a flashback sequence for those who managed to miss his first three Rambo excursions; seeing Richard Crenna again was an unexpected bonus.
While Stallones beefcake is a brawny testament to steroids, on the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Rambo is a graphic, blood-drenched 2. Stay out of the jungle!