Ryan Chartrand

Ready for a lesson in the fragility of the human body? “Rambo” can teach you everything you need to know.

If you’re looking for an ’80s formula action movie with modern special effects, this is it. And it is awesome. An intensely gory film depicting modern combat and the wretched condition of those living under a genocidal regime, “Rambo” should succeed in entertaining the action-film junkie while tugging gently on their heartstrings. And what’s more, the anticipated cheesy ending is there, too.

It’s no use to argue right out of the gate whether the acting in this movie is Oscar-worthy; no one expects that from “Rambo,” or any Sylvester Stallone flick for that matter. You can, however, say that the acting sucks but is made bearable by the fact that not much speaking happens after the film is halfway through. You may walk away from this movie spouting off a couple key mush-mouth lines lipped by Stallone. But the words aren’t at all powerful; it’s the images that will stick with you.

Speaking of Stallone, the guy is huge. He is bigger in “Rambo” than in any of the “Rocky” movies, making for a truly amazing scene when he is running, or standing beside skinny dudes.

The story begins with John Rambo, a Vietnam War veteran and badass killing machine, living a simple life on the border of Burma, where a military-led genocide against Christian minority villages is occurring. The depiction of this genocide is horrific. In one scene, soldiers throw mines into a soggy rice field and then place bets and exchange money before sending captured village people running through the same field – gore ensues.

Back at his job capturing snakes for a venomous snake show, Rambo seems distant from the realities of the situation across the border until a group of Christian activists from Colorado show up and request he take them, by way of boat, into Burma so that they can deliver medicine and food to the affected villages.

A reluctant Rambo delivers the activists to Burma, but not before asking them if they brought guns with them. When their leader responds no, Rambo says, “Then you’re not changing anything” – an instant cheese-ball classic.

While giving their humanitarian aid, the Christian activists are ambushed and abducted by the Burmese military. Then it’s up to Rambo to save them, but not before some boring scenes that just seem to fill the time before the action occurs, which will most likely be skipped to on the DVD version anyways.

To rescue the activists, Rambo and a small, ragtag group of mercenaries have to take on a platoon of 100 men. Rambo is way casual about this fact – he’s done this one before, and he makes it look so easy.

What happens after Rambo and the mercenaries land in Burma is pure action-movie gold.

The Burmese soldiers you’ve grown to despise for their cruelty are brutally dismembered, disemboweled, beheaded and otherwise slain by sniper rifles, machine guns, combat knives and, let’s not forget, Rambo’s bare hands (Spoiler Alert: He literally rips out a man’s jugular with his bare hands).

The special effects in creating the death scenes are top-notch. You may walk away from this movie believing you have actually seen a man’s head get blown off of his body.

This film definitely solidifies Rambo’s place in the Hall of Badass, because no one can take out an entire platoon with as much precision and brutality as Rambo. Nobody.

As far as gripes are concerned, it’s really hard to complain about this movie if you have realistic expectations. You can’t go into the theater expecting good acting, plot or an ending that’s not somewhat laughable. The movie does have a couple of dull moments, but the action sequences more than make up for them.

And let’s not forget that the movie does attempt at something more than entertainment. It juxtaposes the beauty of the Burmese countryside with the grotesque killing of innocent villagers in an attempt to strike within the viewers a tone of compassion. Mission successful. You will walk away from this movie sad that somewhere in the world, people are going through horrific genocides, but you will also be glad that Rambo brought justice in the form of .50 caliber bullets to this one small area of Burma.

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