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(Review originally written at 4 April 2008)

In its core this is really one simple straight-forward action flick. It's part of the reason why this movie is just so great and a true genre classic but also when you look past the surface, you'll see that this movie has so much more to offer.

The story in its main core is real simple; An Vietnam vet who is being chased by a couple of mean cops through the woods. This is basically how most part of the movie is like. It's good and also sort of refreshing that there are totally no distracting different plot-lines and needless characters or comical relief or anything else of that sort, that most other genre movies have. But the movie is really more than just a 'dumb' overblown action flick. It actually knows to still very humane and on a small scale, as strange as that may sound, since this movie is known for being one of the most ultimate action movies out there.

The movie mostly works out as well as it does due to it's main character John J. Rambo, who has become a real action movie icon. He is definitely a character who is on the edge and looks like he can snap any moment but we understand him nevertheless. Even though he says as little as possible you can still follow his emotions. For this, also credits needs to go to Sylvester Stallone. of course lots of people have criticized his acting over the years, the same as all big action movie actors got criticized. But playing a believable and likable action movie character also really takes skill, especially the role of Rambo, who is a real well layered character in terms of emotions and personality. Brian Dennehy and Richard Crenna also play some real good roles. The acting within this movie is not what you perhaps would expect at first sight from an action movie. It was also fun to see a still very young David Caruso in a for him early movie role.

It's a quite hard brutal action flick, even though funny enough only one person in this entire movie dies on screen. Nevertheless, Rambo causes the cops and his other chasers lots of different injuries, by guns as well as self made weapons and contraptions. So for the fans of the action genre this movie has plenty to offer for them.

The movie isn't made by the most talented cast or crew that was around at the time but it's just one of those movies in which everything comes together and eventually works out perfectly and takes each and everyone involved in the production to a whole new higher level of prestige.

What I also like about this- and all of the other Rambo movies, is the Jerry Goldsmith musical score, except for the latest Rambo movie from this year obviously, since Goldsmith past away in 2004. I feel it's one of his more underrated works. Everybody knows the theme for movies such as "Jaws". "Rocky" or James Bond but not that many actually also known the Rambo theme, even though it's at least just as brilliant and recognizable. Perhaps it has to due with the fact that it was an action movies score done in the '80's, which of course was not the most respectable genre at its time.

Still great and also quite unique within its genre.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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