‘When you’re pushed, killing’s as easy as breathing,’ mumbles John Rambo (Stallone), that Great Redwood of an action hero with the greased mullet and soiled head-band who has lived by a strict code of Reaganisms for nigh-on thirty years. The fact that ‘Rambo’ contains a record-beating 236 on-screen kills suggests that breathing is actually a complex quadratic equation in comparison.
We join our hero in the jungle. He’s quietly tip-toeing through the brush and foraging away. Could it be that America’s foremost patriotic killing machine has decided to hang up his machete and embrace the life of an eco-warrior? Not likely: he spends his days gathering poisonous snakes to spice up local tough-man competitions.
His ‘work’ is interrupted by a group of sappy charity workers wanting to be taken down-river into a Burmese war zone so they can distribute aid to villagers who are being massacred by a tear-away military faction. It doesn’t take much imagination to guess what happens…Workmanlike in every aspect, it thrives ( and partly succeeds) on its dismissal of postmodern detachment.
That ‘Rambo’ opens on real footage of atrocities in Burma is a false start, as this film has no connection to reality and nothing to say about the current political climate. This is 90 minutes of violence. No more, no less.