An Unpleasant Mix of Fact and Fiction; RAMBO (18) Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Paul Schulze, Graham McTavish, Matthew Marsden, Tom Kang, Ray Gallegos, Jake la Botz. Director: Sylvester Stallone. 91 Mins. Rating: **

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), February 22, 2008 | Go to article overview

An Unpleasant Mix of Fact and Fiction; RAMBO (18) Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Paul Schulze, Graham McTavish, Matthew Marsden, Tom Kang, Ray Gallegos, Jake la Botz. Director: Sylvester Stallone. 91 Mins. Rating: **


Byline: Philip Key

TWENTY years after Rambo's last bloodthirsty tour of duty, Sylvester Stallone's iconic warrior stumbles out of retirement to wreak havoc on the oppressive Burmese military.

In his role as director, co-writer and leading man, Stallone's intentions are noble, refocusing the spotlight on the long-running civil war between ruling forces and the Karen People of Burma, who have been tortured and murdered for nearly 60 years.

However, grafting a relentlessly violent action-thriller onto real-life genocide - the film opens with shocking newsreel footage of slain monks and village people - leaves a very nasty taste in the mouth.

The underlying message couldn't be clearer: if you want a resolution to the conflict, send in America and let Uncle Sam blow the country to smithereens.

"When you're pushed, killing's as easy as breathing," proclaims the big man.

If that's true, then Stallone should be hyperventilating by the end credits because the body count mushrooms into triple figures in no time at all.

Former Green Beret John Rambo (Stallone) lives and works on the Salween River, close to the Thailand- Burma border, supplying cobras and pythons to a snake village.

Christian missionaries Michael (Schulze) and Sarah (Benz) approach Rambo to take them and fellow dogooders up river to Burma, where they hope to nurse the sick back to health.

Sarah pricks Rambo's conscience ("Maybe we can't change what is, but trying to save a life isn't wasting your life, is it?") and he ferries them to a remote Karen village. …

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An Unpleasant Mix of Fact and Fiction; RAMBO (18) Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Paul Schulze, Graham McTavish, Matthew Marsden, Tom Kang, Ray Gallegos, Jake la Botz. Director: Sylvester Stallone. 91 Mins. Rating: **
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