Directed by Sylvester Stallone (R)
Rambo’s last stand brings out the gory side of the bitter Vietnam vet.
If it’s action you want, Sylvester Stallone is your man, said Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle. Rambo, the final installment in his action series, is nothing more than a 90-minute blood bath. In other words, it’s Stallone doing what he does best. The 61-year-old writer-director-actor clearly still enjoys “providing himself with good one-liners, pithy aphorisms (‘Live for nothing, or die for something!’)” and a high body count. It’s been 20 years since we last saw John Rambo, the scorned Vietnam vet who formed a one-man crusade for justice, said Dana Stevens in Slate.com. Apparently Rambo has since settled into retirement, hiding out in rural Thailand and capturing cobras to pass the time—until American missionaries show up at his door. The Karen minority of Myanmar needs saving from its military government, and Rambo’s the only man ruthless enough to do it. Packed with a shocking number of beheadings, exploding bodies, and other violent acts, this film “combines an unapologetic return to the grand action-movie tradition” of blowing stuff up with “a Saw-era interest in close-ups of human viscera.” Can he really be fighting the good fight? To contemplate Rambo’s ideology takes the fun out of these films, said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. Stallone is “smart enough to present the mythic dimensions of the character without apology or irony.” Rambo might be on the cusp between civility and barbarism, but he gets the job done.