Reel Deal: Rambo falls short

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Twenty years after the last “Rambo” graced the screen, he is back with a vengeance. The question is; why is he back?

Apparently, the answer is to save a pretty blonde, rip the Burmese army to shreds and to show off his steroid-addled body.

After fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, we now find John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) living the simple life in Thailand. He pilots a long boat across the Salween River, broods and hunts pythons and boa constrictors for his boss. Those creepy reptiles are used for a fun game of hot hands in front of a live audience. I foresee that extreme sport gracing the mainland soon. Looks like a fangy blast.

While he does that, he seems apathetic to the plight of the Burmese villagers who are being ruthlessly slaughtered by the army until one day, he runs into a few Christian missionaries from Colorado.

They wish for him to ferry them to Burma (now Myanmar) so they can give comfort and aid to the struggling people. Rambo mumbles a “Go Away” and something about brining weapons because they will not change the situation without them. Enter Sarah, (Julie Benz) the only female missionary in the group. She pleads with him to take them so they can make a difference, and he finally relents. Such a soft heart under that overly muscled body.

While they are there doing their missionary thing, the army attacks the village in gruesome fashion and takes the survivors hostage. Except not for ransom, they fully intend to torture them, feed them to pigs, etc. You know how it goes.

Enter again our disillusioned Green Beret John Rambo. He is hired by the missionary group’s pastor (Ken Howard) to take several mercenaries to rescue the hostages. You should know how this goes also.

If you don’t, here’s the scoop. After being ordered to stay behind by the head mercenary, Rambo defies his orders and saves their skins when they get in a pickle via crossbow. Aweness of John Rambo ensues and he is now the leader of the group, doling out orders on how to break into the camp and rescue the missionaries.

However, this army is 100 strong and there are only seven (at the most) rescuers and one wonders how they would begin operation rescue do-gooders. Good thing there is a peep show in one of the tents and all of the soldiers are inebriated. That makes the rescue mission go all the more smoothly.

Then the morning comes and it’s discovered the hostages have escaped. Commence mega-bloodshed complete with decapitation, explosives, machine guns and severed limbs. One of the best parts during that segment is Sylvester Stallone running along like a well-oiled jungle cat. His speed puts Ted Ginn Jr. to shame, his power impresses lions and his tactical wartime skills have generals all over taking notes.

In the end, Rambo saves the day (naturally), doesn’t get the girl, makes a homeward decision and I don’t get my five dollars back.

I gave this film a D.

Dedra Cordle is a Messenger staff writer.

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