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(Review originally written at 28 January 2007)

The return of Rambo, the one man army! In this movie he takes on a couple of Soviets, with the help of an Afghan tribe, to save his old pal Colonel Trautman.

This is a great enjoyable, very simplistic, straightforward, brutal action-flick. I mean basically all there is to this story is Rambo kicking some Soviet butt. Yes, the movie tries to be more emotional with some of its themes and plot lines but none of this really works out however.

When you're bit familiar with the action genre, especially from the '80's than there is no way that you can rate this movie any lower than an 6. This movie is better constructed than, lets say, 80% of any other action movies, especially those made in the '80's, when silly simple, brutal action-flicks were at their prime. And of course this movie also has got something no other action movie has; John J. Rambo. Argualiby the best and most famous action-hero out of cinematic history, portrayed by '80's superstar Sylvester Stallone. For an action movie this is a perfectly constructed, though simple picture, that totally entertains.

The movie doesn't begin that good but once it's on steam there is no holding back. Rambo is on fire, from the moment on when he fires his first shot. At first the movie doesn't seem like high-budget stuff but as the movie progresses it becomes obvious that the saved the money for its ending. With its 63 million dollar budget, it actually was the most expensive movie of its time. The second halve of the movie is filled with some spectacular and explosive action. Rambo taking on a helicopter with his bow & arrow and Rambo taking on with a tank the main villain in a helicopter are great action moments, no matter how ridicules it all works for the story and credibility. This movie leaves no question about it; Rambo is an one man army.

Granted that of course the movie is only watchable and enjoyable for the action movie fans. Everyone else, who has some common sense, will probably find this movie utterly ridicules.

The movie features some beautiful scenery and its obvious that they spared no expenses on the locations. The musical score by Jerry Goldsmith also adds to the mood and level of profession of the movie, even though it's mostly recycled work from "Rambo: First Blood Part II".

The movie doesn't always flow well and it times it makes the movie feel a bit clumsy. Nevertheless, the movie remains a great genre piece, with all of the typical ingredients, including a great stereotypical mean villain and tough dialog that is surprisingly well written by Sheldon Lettich and Sylvester Stallone himself.

An underrated, great simple (like it should be) action movie.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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