Written by / 8/28/2011 / No comments / , , ,

SLY STALLONE IN RAMBO III & RAMBO IV

1988 rating: **1/2
RAMBO III: When the title appears, the music pounds energetically, leading fans to believe this is just what the doctor ordered. Then we begin with a really long-haired John J. Rambo having a stick fight inside an Asian club...

There's a bit of irony as afterward, our buff hero helps monks build their monastery. Here's when Colonel Trautman (Richard Crenna) seeks his killing machine for a mission in... get this... Afghanistan. Russia's taking over the country, exploiting the villagers, and it's up to Rambo to help. Initially John J. refuses, that is, till Trautman himself is captured and taken to a Russian-run Afghan prison.

RAMBO OF ARABIA is, for the most part, a ponderous film. Without a wilderness setting like FIRST BLOOD or a jungle terrain from RAMBO, we have lots of sand and no real change of scenery. After hearing exposition dialogue by a local sidekick, then a speech by none other than Omar Shariff, and all surviving a Russian air assault, Rambo rescues his mentor way too easily, and that's about it. Tons of machine gun deaths and the bloody stuff that made the first two work, but without the adventurous fun: Although there are sporadic attempts at humor as Rambo and Trautman go back and forth like Rocky Balboa and his trainer Mickey, but it's just not fitting here. And battling the evil Russians while celebrating the sovereign people of Afghanistan... talk about dated!

year: 2008 rating: ***
RAMBO IV: An eighty minute film, while quite rare, is a perfect running-time for action, especially one as violent as this.

Super high definition violence can only be "enjoyed" so much, and this was a neatly entertaining blood & guts film where John Rambo saves a group of Christian Missionaries from an Asian drug cartel overseas... He goes in, kills the bad guys, and leaves. In this case, less is not only more, it's just enough.
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