Rambo - 2 stars

I was never allowed to see movies starring Sylvester Stallone when I was a kid; my mother was opposed to the violence of such movies, and so it just didn't happen. In some cases, this principle was probably a good thing; I still don't like most horror franchises, for instance. But this particular filter did hold back my appreciation of some American Cinema trends, by cutting out two staples - Rocky and Rambo. The former I have since seen in their entirety; but I only saw First Blood a year or so ago, and I still haven't seen any of the sequels.

So Rambo - the fourth in the series, first in 20 years - was my first Stallone-in-Asia movie. My views were certainly colored by that. But this movie wasn't really that much of a surprise anyway.

Rambo is a bloody movie. It has a message, interestingly, and that message is probably a good thing to repeat: the situation in Burma/ Myanmar is awful, and the world should pay attention to it. But that message, while useful for a good fifteen minutes of the movie, is overshadowed by the constant, over-the-top violence and gore in the other 75. Perhaps that's not an entirely bad thing, though - perhaps such tactics will get the story told to a wider audience. But, well, that's not how it seemed to me. What I saw was a message, followed by lots and lots of violence, padded with some irrelevant character development. Think Babel, but with more machine gun fire, land mines, and raping.

And I think that's about all I have to say about it.