Twenty years after the last film in the series, John Rambo (SYLVESTER STALLONE) has retreated to northern Thailand, where he’s running a longboat on the Salween River. On the nearby Thai-Burma (Myanmar) border, the world’s longest-running civil war, the Burmese-Karen conflict, rages into its 60th year. But Rambo, who lives a solitary, simple life in the mountains and jungles fishing and catching poisonous snakes to sell, has long given up fighting, even as medics, mercenaries, rebels and peace workers pass by on their way to the war-torn region.
That all changes when a group of human rights missionaries search out the “American river guide” John Rambo. When Sarah (JULIE BENZ) and Michael Bennett (PAUL SCHULZE) approach him, they explain that since last year’s trek to the refugee camps, the Burmese military has laid landmines along the road, making it too dangerous for overland travel. They ask Rambo to guide them up the Salween and drop them off, so they can deliver medical supplies and food to the Karen tribe. After initially refusing to cross into Burma, Rambo takes them, dropping off Sarah, Michael and the aid workers…
Less than two weeks later, pastor Arthur Marsh (KEN HOWARD) finds Rambo and tells him the aid workers did not return and the embassies have not helped locate them. He tells Rambo he’s mortgaged his home and raised money from his congregation to hire mercenaries to get the missionaries, who are being held captive by the Burmese army. Although the United States military trained him to be a lethal super soldier in Vietnam, decades later Rambo’s reluctance for violence and conflict are palpable, his scars faded, yet visible. However, the lone warrior knows what he must do…
Sylvester Stallone writes, directs and stars as RAMBO, filmed on location in and around Chiang Mai, Thailand. Also starring are Julie Benz (Dexter), Paul Schulze (The Sopranos), Matthew Marsden (Resident Evil: Extinction, Black Hawk Down), Graham McTavish (HBO’s Rome), Rey Gallegos (American Wedding), Tim Kang (“Third Watch”), Jake La Botz (Ghost World), Maung Maung Khin and Ken Howard. RAMBO is produced by Avi Lerner, Kevin King Templeton and John Thompson. Executive producers Randall Emmett, George Furla. Executive Producers Jon Feltheimer, Peter Block, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein. Executive Producers Andreas Thiesmeyer, Josef Lautenschlager. Executive Producers Danny Dimbort, Boaz Davidson, Trevor Short.
The world changes, but Rambo doesn’t. At least that is what Stallone wants us to believe. It’s true… Rambo even says so with his too-angry-to talk tone: “things never change.” Even if things don’t change the overly aggressive killing machine can’t help but do the right thing no matter the situation.
Even if every speck of reality is thrown out with the corpses Rambo litters the earth with, this is one disturbingly fun action flick. It really helps us fellows get our testosterone out but not so interesting for the women in the audience–at least it’d seem. Rambo is a balls-to-the-walls killing machine. This is “First Blood” times ten.
Stallone still shines as Rambo. It’s all rather shameless and not critic worthy and yet it’s a movie I thoroughly enjoyed watching and will again.