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8 minutes into the film I fell in love with it, precisely when the nerve-wrecking church-bloke finished his speech about bringing bibles and whatever into the war zone “in order to change people’s lifes”, Rambo only replying “Are you bringing weapons?”, and after an “Of course not” he turned around with a dismissive “Then you are not going to change anything.” (flavoured with a hearty “Fuck the world.”) The film is not a “good” film, do not get me wrong on this, but it is a nice kick-ass piece of entertainment if harsh, non-compromising violence without any artificial additives entertains you in movies (also using some of the neo-realistic instruments that made “Private Ryan”‘s stunning images, so it’s actually a spectacular watch). I think “viciously brutal” is the expression that fits it best.
Of course the performance by all those actors who want to show they are actors are embarrassing (“the woman” in particular – the “guy with the big gun”, however, is pretty good – and don’t bother to remember names, there is only one name of relevance: “Boatman”). I find myself, however, to be very comfortable with what Stallone does in his late roles as fleshy mountain of a man, just beyond “use best before” date, but not convinced that the writing on the package was correct.
Direction is a bit clumsy at times, as is editing, but there is compensation for all this at the end, when Rambo shows how strongly he influenced a certain generation of movie-goers: Am I wrong or does everybody (everybody!) who ever saw First Blood know exactly which road he is walking down at the end of the film? I did not check against the old film, but I don’t think I need to. It is one of those images burnt into memory.
Now let them rest in peace, those Balboas and Rambos, and do not make it a habit of only doing requiem movies for the rest of your life, but well done on those two, I think there could not have been other ways of finishing off those characters (maybe more politically balanced ones, ok…).
Surprisingly good ratings at IMDB (and I thought only I had a bad taste…), but the critics (see IMDB list and RT) were not too pleased (check out the insults at Kermode’s).

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