Rambo Review

I was looking forward to this. My previous attempts to rent it were thwarted as other bloodthirsty patrons beat me to it. But it lived up to the hype. At just shy of 90 minutes, it is short in length (and plot) but makes up for it with more blood and vengeance than the Punisher in an abbatoir.

John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) is a Vietnam veteran and hardcore soldier, trained to kill with reckless abandon and creative use of vicious implements. Since his last cinematic outing in 1988’s Rambo 3, he has been carving out an existence in Thailand catching snakes. He lives alone and is as surly as ever. A group of well-meaning Christians come along and eventually entice him into taking them on his boat to the Burmese border to help villagers in need. In the opening scenes we see actual footage of the atrocities there that will stir your conscience and wait for Rambo to exact vengeance.

I’ve always been a fan of Sly. More than an actor (though with Rocky and Rambo to his credit, his impression on pop culture can not be denied) he always tries to lift his films above mere action flicks. As the writer and director on many of his own features, he is a league above Seagal and Van Damme. Here, he brings up notions of identity and convinces some mercenaries in rescuing the missionaries from Burmese rebels, that “this is who we are.” Welcome the bloodlust inside you, don’t deny it is the heart warming message of this slaughter. But you can’t help but cheer Sly and the merc caricatures on as they shoot, slice and explode an endless parade of baddies. I was smiling all the way. The violence is over the top but with bullets and knives that size, blood will spill freely. And that’s exactly what it does. Not recommended for those with a weak stomach, Rambo will otherwise entertain. Sly looks considerably older than he did in his previous revamp, Rocky Balboa, and runs and leaps less. Then again, there’s no need for such activity if you have a gun and a snarl bigger than any prison could hold. The guy still looks like a mountain. There is also a fair bit of crudeness, in the foul language and brief nudity, so be warned. This is Rambo, however, not Indiana Jones. He’s never been a family friendly character, but for a good night in where you want to find yourself cheering and laughing at some brutal punishment, check it out. Then have a shower and prepare for Rambo 5, coming in 2009.

Comic-Con: It Is On!

How I have dreamed of this day. Sunday. No, I mean the day I would fly to the majestic US, the home of one of my favourite things – yep, comics. This year will be my first year in the States to attend the huge Comic-Con, the be-all and end-all of geeky conventions. Despite the name, it offers more than just comics, but also the latest announcements and previews of TV, animation, gaming and films. Last year, there were 125 000 attendees and this year they had to turn people away. The talk is that it will be going to Las Vegas in the next few years, as San Diego’s facilities are barely accommodating the yearly influx of fanboys and girls. I will attempt to do my usual comics news and reviews while I’m away from home, as well as report on my escapades in a new place while there. Most of it will involve shopping, as a menagerie of vendors let loose on funky Con exclusives that can be found nowhere else, because they’re exclusives. Uh, yeah.

It goes from Wed to Sun and I will be there for the whole time, (and a week afterwards) taking in all the panels and drooling on various goodies, and possibly, some celebrities. I’ll also be posting reports for Sight too. The flight on Tuesday night is over twenty hours long, with stop-overs in Tokyo and L.A, so please be patient if I don’t post for the first day (or two) but check back regularly for all the latest, greatest and nerdiest. In the mean-time you can download the free Con magazine. I hope to make many new friends, which I’m sure won’t be a problem with my crazy “Ossie” accent, and hopefully avoid getting lost. If I do, I’ll just follow the throng of costumed fans, though I will try to avoid Jokers dressed in straight jackets and any He-Men wearing animal skin underwear.