‘Rambo’ Blu-ray Review
Sylvester Stallone has been on a revival tour in his career the last 2 years. First it was ‘Rocky Balboa’, the 6th movie in the ‘Rocky’ franchise and now in 2008 with the 4th movie in the ‘First Blood’ franchise, ‘Rambo’. ‘Rambo’ went through several name changes before the ‘Rambo’ title was set in stone. Before that, we had ‘First Blood IV’, ‘Rambo IV’, and then ‘John Rambo’ which was its title for a good 7-8 months before it was changed to just ‘Rambo’. Sylvester Stallone did not want this movie to be in any way believed to be the final movie in the series like the ‘Rocky Balboa’ titled finale. Personally, I would have gone with the John Rambo title as it would have really stuck out even more.
Sylvester Stallone makes his return as John Rambo living outside of Thailand, near the war torn Burma. Rambo is a snake catcher as the movie begins, and he catches Cobra’s, Python’s, and all venomous snakes that he sells to snake fighters. While Rambo is done selling the Cobra that he caught, a bunch of missionaries make their way to him asking if he could take them up to Burma. The missionaries want to help the Burma people. After Rambo continually tells the missionaries that he won’t take them up the river, he breaks down and decides to take them to the Burma jungle.
This is where all the problems begin; the missionaries get caught in the middle of a hostile takeover of the village that they were in trying to help in. The missionaries are captured and at this point John Rambo is called in to take a group of mercenaries to the drop off point so they can find the missionaries.
There is a lot of violence in ‘Rambo’, which some might enjoy and others may not. After having watched Rambo and having read countless reviews, people are still not too certain as to the meaning or approach that Sylvester used for this movie. There are a lot of political undertones in this movie and I feel like I am watching a George A. Romero movie from the undertones aspect of film. Politics come into play here and this is more with International politics as the movie opens up with real actual documentary footage of the chaos going on in Burma. The missionaries are really frightened and upset when Rambo first kills these ship pirates, but later we see one of the missionaries have to kill so they could survive. It is almost like a contradiction of the characters, but I believe that Sylvester is trying to drive home a message. His message is that even people that are against a particular stance, if it comes down to their own lives at stake that they will do what is needed to survive going against their own beliefs.
I really enjoyed Rambo and couldn’t believe how fast the movie was over with even at 1hr and 33 minutes. The action is non stop from the point that John Rambo joins forces with the mercenaries all the way to the end. There is a bloodbath and this is a gory movie, so those that are light hearted for this type of stuff will probably want to rethink watching Rambo. I found Rambo to be the second best movie in the series and I am hoping that this is the final one as the ending lent to capping off this series very well. Stallone looked huge for a 62 year old man; I wonder what he has been taking.
‘Rambo’ is one beautiful looking Blu-ray release with a clean image and some grain throughout in the appropriate scenes. One good way to test this disc is to look at the jungle scenes, the detail is just phenomenal. Looking at the water scenes while on the boat, the water has that murky look. Facial detail is top notch where you get to see every detail especially in Rambo’s face where there is an intentional scar. Lionsgate churns out yet another wonderful disc and they have been on top of their game for a longtime with Blu-ray releases.
‘Rambo’ has a DTS HD Master Audio lossless track that really performs at top rate. Dialogue is clear and loud so you can hear perfectly what is being said. I have many Blu-rays in my collection where the dialogue takes a back seat to the action heavy audio. Here Lionsgate has found the perfect mix for both where they get equal footing.
‘Rambo’ also offers a second disc which is the digital copy version that could be either used on the PC, iPod, or any compatible handheld device. This allows you to take the movie with you on your portable device for your viewing pleasure. There is a code that you must use for the digital copy to work, and it locks down the feature film to that device.
The deleted scenes are nothing to ride home about; they are extended scenes of the current film. There are only a handful of cut scenes that total about 8 minute’s total.
As a personal fan of the ‘Rambo’ series, I suggest that fans check out ‘Rambo’. This is one very well done Blu-ray release that is worth picking up. Like the original ‘Rocky’ began the series, ‘Rocky Balboa’ nicely capped that series……..the same could be said with ‘First Blood’ beginning the phenomenon and ‘Rambo’ capping off the series, making all the sequels between part of the vehicle that adds to something greater to come in the end. Both ‘Rocky Balboa’ and ‘Rambo’ gave us more than the boxing or the one man mercenary being the central piece; we saw a different side to the character.