Film Review – Rambo (2008)

26 08 2008

For reasons quite unknown to me I decided to watch the latest installment in the Rambo series tonight. Somehow, in my near 22 years I haven’t seen any of the previous films, so I went into this without any nostalgia for the character, other than second hand excitement from others when I was a kid in school.

I’m just going to come out clear and simple with this. This film was awful… horrendous even. 90 minutes of nonsensical, gratuitous violence, with little plot and bad writing. But I’ll give a basic outline of the film.

The film follows a religious group from the U.S, who are traveling into the Burmese war zone in order to bring aid to a group of villagers and spread the word of religion. The group are directed to John Rambo, a Vietnam veteran who just didn’t go home, to transport them upriver from Thailand into Burma. Despite Rambo’s consistent advice telling the group to turn around and go home, he is finally persuaded to take them. When the group eventually get there and are giving aid, the village is attacked by militia and the group are captured. Fun and hilarity gratuitous violence and awfulness ensue.

The problems with this film are many and often, almost all of which stem from the bad script. But what stood out to me too often was the constant reliance on CGI. Every time a gun is fired and the bullet reaches its target (which seems like every second of the movie), blatant CGI effects are used. Blood splatter, dismemberment, and general pulverisation of human life is badly exaggerated and poorly executed. I have no problem with CGI for things like this, as long as they are done well, this is not an example of that.

Unless the CGI effects are well executed, a practical effect will usually work to much greater effect. I am not sure how much of the 50 million dollar budget was used on visual effects and whether that amount would have been cheaper or more expensive than using practical techniques, but they could have dialed down the set pieces to accommodate practical effects if the budget dictated it.

I truly wouldn’t recommend this film to anyone and feel quite bad that this is the first film that I am reviewing on my blog, but it just so happened to be the first film I have watched since starting it.

Hopefully next time I will watch a better film than this steaming pile that I could review.





One response

27 08 2008
Martin Charlton

Haven’t seen this (or latest Rocky or Indy movies) as I assumed that’d be bad, but still, how about First Blood? Still awesome.

My thoughts about these films is that they make really great, stirring trailers and over 90 minutes fall down. Three minutes of quick shots isn’t a sell for a great movie, it’s a porno clip. The line being blurred.

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