Rambo (film)

Rambo (film)

Infobox Film
name = Rambo

caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Sylvester Stallone
producer = Sylvester Stallone
Bob Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein
writer = Art Monterastelli
Sylvester Stallone
starring = Sylvester Stallone
Julie Benz
Matthew Marsden
music = Brian Tyler
distributor = Lionsgate
Millennium Films
Nu Image
released = January 25, 2008
runtime = 93 min.
country = United States
language = English Burmese
budget = $50 million [ [http://www.moviesonline.ca/movienews_6091.html Rambo 4 Gets a Budget! - MoviesOnline ] ]
gross = Domestic:
preceded_by = "Rambo III"
followed_by = "Rambo V"
website = http://rambofilm.com/
amg_id = 1:389422
imdb_id = 0462499

"Rambo" (also known as "Rambo IV" or "John Rambo") is a 2008 action film starring Sylvester Stallone as Vietnam War veteran John Rambo. Stallone also co-wrote and directed the film. It is the fourth installment of the "Rambo" franchise, twenty years since the last film.

"Rambo" holds the record with the most kills out of the entire "Rambo" series, with 262 kills ;cite news | last = | first = | coauthors = | title = Accurate Rambo Kill Chart | work = | pages = | language = | publisher = [http://www.the-imagi-nation.co.nr The Imagi-Nation] | date = May 3, 2008 | url =http://www.freewebs.com/the-imagi-nation/rambodeaths.htm | accessdate = 2008-01-26 ] also the number is more than that of the previous three movies combined. Stallone justified this in a press conference by saying the violence in the film was to underline the ongoing problems in Burma.


The film opens with newsreels of the crisis in Burma. Burma (now known as Myanmar) is under the iron fist rule of Than Shwe and takes harsher stances against the nation's pro-democracy movement. Rebels are thrown into a mine-infested marsh and then gunned down, while cigarette-smoking Burmese military officer Major Tint (Maung Maung Khin) gazes grimly at the scene.

Former U.S. Soldier John Rambo has returned to Thailand and now resides in a village near the Burmese border. He makes a living capturing snakes and selling them in a nearby village. He also transports roamers in his boat. A missionary, Michael Burnett (Paul Schulze), asks Rambo to take him and his associates up the Salween River to Burma on a humanitarian mission. Rambo refuses but is convinced by Sarah Miller (Julie Benz) to take them.

The boat is stopped by pirates who demand Sarah in exchange for passage. After negotiations do not work, Rambo kills them all. Although his actions save the missionaries, it greatly disturbs them. Upon arrival, Michael says that they will travel by road and will not need Rambo's help for the return trip. The mission goes well until the Burmese army attacks the village, killing many villagers and two missionaries and kidnapping the rest. When the missionaries do not come back after ten days, their pastor comes to Rambo to ask for his help in guiding hired mercenaries to the village where the missionaries were last seen.

Rambo decides to accompany the soldiers. He pushes them to continue after they see the destroyed village. Hijacking a truck, they create a plan to save the hostages at the P.O.W. camp, doing so within fifteen minutes to avoid alerting the army. Rambo helps Sarah and the others to escape. The Burmese Army unit finds their hostages missing and organizes a massive manhunt. Everyone except for Rambo, Sarah, and "School Boy" (Matthew Marsden) is captured. Just as the group is to be executed, Rambo hijacks a truck-mounted .50-caliber machine gun and engages the Burmese army. A group of Karen rebels joins the fight to help Rambo and the mercenaries defeat the Burmese army. Seeing his army's defeat, Major Tint tries to escape, but Rambo intercepts his escape by promptly stabbing him in the stomach with his machete and disemboweling him.

Encouraged by Sarah's words, Rambo returns to the United States. The last scene shows him walking along a rural highway, past a horse farm and a rusted mailbox with the name "R. Rambo" on it, which signifies his father's home, which was mentioned by Rambo in the beginning of the film. He makes his way down the gravel driveway as the credits roll.


*Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo
*Julie Benz as Sarah Miller
*Matthew Marsden as School Boy
*Graham McTavish as Lewis
*Rey Gallegos as Diaz
*Jake La Botz as Reese
*Tim Kang as En-Joo
*Maung Maung Khin as Tint
*Paul Schulze as Michael Burnett
*Cameron Pearson as Jeff - Missionary #4
*Thomas Peterson as Dentist - Missionary #2
*Tony Skarberg as Videographer - Missionary #3
*James Wearing Smith as Preacher - Missionary #5
*Kasikorn Niyompattana as Snake Hunter #2
*Shaliew "Lek" Bamrungbun as Snake Hunter #1
*Supakorn "Tok" Kitsuwon as Myint
*Aung Aay Noi as Lt. Aye
*Ken Howard as Rev. Arthur Marsh
*Aung Theng as Pirate Leader
*Pornpop "Tor" Kampusiri as Snake Village Owner
*Wasawat Panyarat as Snake Village MC
*Kammul Kawtep as Snake Village Young Charmer


Filming started on February 23, 2007 and ended on May 4, 2007. The movie was shot at Chiang Mai, Thailand including Mexico and the United States.

While filming near Myanmar, Stallone and the rest of the crew narrowly avoided being shot by the Burmese military. Stallone described Myanmar as a "hellhole". He said "we had shots fired above our heads" and that he "witnessed survivors with legs cut off and all kinds of land-mine injuries, maggot-infested wounds and ears cut off." [ [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/2/story.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10467584 Sylvester Stallone describes Myanmar 'hellhole' - 03 Oct 2007 - NZ Herald: World / International News ] ]

Alternative titles

The most recent installment of the "Rambo" franchise has undergone many name changes during pre-release, and has been known as the following:
*"Rambo IV" - The title used in Brazil, due to the fact that "First Blood" was originally released as simply "Rambo" in that country.
*"John Rambo" - Mirroring the final installment of the "Rocky" franchise, "Rocky Balboa". In Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Hungary, Poland, Israel, Romania and Italy "John Rambo" was used because "First Blood"'s original title in these countries is "Rambo". This title prevails in Spain too, where the first film was retitled as "Acorralado" ("Surrounded"). A workprint version of the movie that has made its way to the Internet has the title "John Rambo".
*"Rambo: Regreso al Infierno" ("Rambo: Return to Hell" in Spanish) - The name of the film in Mexico and Latin America, and "Rambo: El Regreso" ("Rambo: The Return") in Chile, as "First Blood" was also known as "Rambo" in those territories.

On October 12, 2007, Lionsgate announced that the film title was being changed to "Rambo: To Hell and Back". After some negative feedback from the online community, Stallone spoke with AICN's Harry Knowles [ [http://www.aintitcool.com/node/34423 Whoa Whoa Whoa... Who says it ain't gonna be called JOHN RAMBO? - Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news ] ] and said:

"Lionsgate jumped the gun on this. I just was thinking that the title "John Rambo" was derivative of "Rocky Balboa" and might give people the idea that this is the last "Rambo" film, and I don't necessarily feel that it will be. He's definitely a superb athlete, there's no reason he can't continue onto another adventure. Like John Wayne with "The Searchers"."

Box office

"Rambo" opened in 2,751 theaters on January 25, 2008 and grossed $6,490,000 on its opening day, [ [http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=rambo08.htm Rambo (2008) ] ] and $18,200,000 over its opening weekend. It was the second highest grossing movie for the weekend behind "Meet the Spartans". [ [http://movies.yahoo.com/mv/boxoffice/;_ylt=AguxjhxEmzU9nrdCUKWPTElfVXcA Yahoo! Movies - Weekend Box Office and Buzz ] ] As of June 29, 2008, the film has a domestic box office gross of $42,754,105 and a foreign gross of $70,489,050, giving it a worldwide total of $113,243,155. [cite web|url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=rambo08.htm |title=Rambo 2008 |accessdate=2008-02-05 |publisher=boxofficemojo.com]

The film has grossed $38,966,551 in DVD sales, bringing its total film gross to $152,209,706. [www.the-numbers.com/movies/2008/RAMB4.php] [ [http://www.asianpacificpost.com/portal2/c1ee8c4417a307f20117ae9171ab00e7_Rambo_s_unusual_rescue_in_Burma.do.html Asian Pacific Post - Rambo’s unusual rescue in Burma] ] [ [http://www.euronews.net/index.php?page=info&article=469793&lng=1 EuroNews - Rambo: Burma activists thank Stallone] ] [ [http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk/pm/weblog.php?id=P329 The Burma Campaign UK - Rambo Draws World’s Attention to Forgotten Crisis in Burma] ]

In an unprecedented move, Europe's biggest cinema chain (and the third biggest in the world), Odeon, controversially refused to show the film on any of its screens in the United Kingdom, blaming "commercial differences". [cite web|url=http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article3419539.ece |title=Rambo shot down in flames as cinema chain snubs latest film|accessdate=2008-02-24 |publisher=The Times] UCI has followed suit in its Republic of Ireland cinemas, which are managed by Odeon. [ [http://www.uci.ie UCI ] ]

The film was, however, shown in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland by other theater chains such as Empire Cinemas, Vue, Cineworld and Ward Anderson. The film was not shown in the French-speaking part of Switzerland due to legal and commercial problems with the distributor, even if it was available on screens of France and the Swiss German-speaking part. [cite web|url=http://www.sortir.ch/cinema/journal/cinema_dossier |title=Pas d'écrans suisses pour George Clooney|accessdate=2008-05-14 |publisher=Sortir.ch] ]

Critical reception

Critical reaction towards the film has been generally very mixed, getting a 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes [cite web |url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/john_rambo/ |title=Rambo Movie Reviews, Pictures |accessdate=2008-08-10 |publisher= Rotten Tomatoes |date= 2008-08-10 ] . In his review for the "New York Times", A.O. Scott wrote, "Mr. Stallone is smart enough — or maybe dumb enough, though I tend to think not — to present the mythic dimensions of the character without apology or irony. His face looks like a misshapen chunk of granite, and his acting is only slightly more expressive, but the man gets the job done. Welcome back." cite news | last = Scott | first = A.O | coauthors = | title = Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back in the Jungle | work = | pages = | language = | publisher = New York Times | date = January 25, 2008 | url = http://movies.nytimes.com/2008/01/25/movies/25ramb.html?th&emc=th | accessdate = 2008-01-25 ] Michael H. Price of "Fort Worth Business Press" wrote, "Stallone invests the role with a realistic acceptance of the aging process, and with traces reminiscent of Humphrey Bogart in 1951’s "The African Queen" and Clint Eastwood in 1992’s "Unforgiven" — to say nothing of the influences that the original "First Blood" had absorbed from Marlon Brando in 1953’s "The Wild One" and Tom Laughlin in 1971’s "Billy Jack"." [ [http://www.fwbusinesspress.com/display.php?id=6936 ‘Rambo’ restores Stallone’s signature character to a near-original essence - Fort Worth Business Press ] ] Jonathan Garret (a former writer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution) said in an interview: "Rambo is the most violent movie I have ever seen. The last 11 minutes of the film are so violent, it makes "We Were Soldiers" look like "Sesame Street".

When asked what his take on the film was, "First Blood" writer David Morrell said, "Overall, I'm pleased. [...] This is the first time that the tone of First Blood the novel has been used in any of the movies. [...] It's not a 4-star movie--the villains are superficial, and the climax is overextended. But this is a solid three stars." [cite web|url=http://www.film.com/movies/story/rambosdadtalks/11597472/18284540 |title=Rambo's Dad Talks |accessdate=2008-01-31 |publisher=film.com]

The Burmese military junta has ordered DVD vendors in Myanmar not to distribute the film due to the movie's content. [ [http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/080201/odds/odd_rambo1_dc Junta takes aim at latest Rambo movie - Yahoo! Canada News ] ] Rambo is available on bootlegs however, and it is a great hit amongst the Karen Freedom Fighters and Burmese exiles critical of the Burmese military dictatorship. According to Karen Freedom Fighters, this movie gave them a great boost of morale. Burmese Freedom Fighters have even adopted dialogue from the movie (most notably "Live for nothing, or die for something") as rallying points and battle cries. "That, to me," said Sylvester Stallone, "is one of the proudest moments I've ever had in film." [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0462499/ Rambo (2008) ] ] Also, overseas Burmese praise the movie for its vivid portrayal of the Burmese military's oppression of the Karen people. [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRpFSzt_mzI YouTube - Latest Rambo Movie Rouses Hopes in Burma ] ]

Home video release

The DVD and Blu-ray Disc editions were released in the U.S. on May 27, 2008. The DVD is in 1 and 2 disc editions. The Special edition has a 2.40 anamorphic widescreen presentation and a Dolby Digital 5.1 EX track. The single editions have a standard 5.1 Dolby Digital track. The Blu-ray Disc has Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and DTS HD 7.1 Tracks. The DVD and Blu-ray on disc one have the film, deleted scenes, 6 featurettes, and commentary by Sylvester Stallone. The Blu-ray also has 2 extra special features, that includes a trailer gallery.

The 2-disc DVD and Blu-ray Disc editions have a digital copy of the film. There is also a 6 disc DVD set of all four Rambo films, packaged in a limited edition tin case with over 20 bonus features. A Blu-ray set with Rambo 1-3 was also released. [ [http://www.dvdactive.com/news/releases/rambo3.html "Rambo" DVD Release - DVD Active ] ] [ [http://www.dvdactive.com/news/releases/rambo-the-complete-collectors-set.html Rambo 6 DVD Set - DVD Active ] ] [ [http://www.toxicshock.tv/news/2008/03/12/john-rambo-dvd-details-and-artwork Rambo DVD and Blu-Ray details ] ]

The DVD was released in the UK on June 23, 2008.

Despite its average sales at the box office, the DVD version of Rambo sold considerably well. As of now it stands 19th place of the top selling DVDs of 2008 with 1.7m units sold and an overall gross of $37m. Since the intake of $38,966,551 in dvd sales, the film's total film gross is raised to $152,209,706. [www.the-numbers.com/movies/2008/RAMB4.php]

Director's Cut

When asked about the moral of the film in a Daily Yomiuri Online interview, Sylvester Stallone mentioned that he will be doing a Director's Cut of the film, which will go by the original title of "John Rambo". [cite web|url=http://www.popmatters.com/pm/article/58914/sylvester-stallone-hopes-violence-of-rambo-will-get-people-thinking/ |title='I want people to be upset': Stallone hopes violence of 'John Rambo' will get people thinking |accessdate=2008-08-23 |publisher=Daily Yomiuri Online/PopMatters] Nevertheless, the news became most well known after a May 2008 interview with Jay Leno when he announced the work of a director's cut, and that the proceeds would go to Burma. On top of this, an online petition appeared shortly after the announcement in order to "motivate" Stallone in completing this new cut. At the 2008 Comic-con, it was vaguely announced that the director's cut (or as they labeled it, "extended cut") would be released in 2009, though no other specifics were given. [cite web|url=http://dvd.ign.com/articles/893/893657p1.html|title=SDCC 08: DVD Producers Panel|accessdate=2008-08-23 |publisher=IGN] Additionally, the director's cut is set to premier at this year's The Zurich Film Festival. [cite web|url=http://www.joblo.com/arrow/index.php?id=13476|title=Rambo D.Cut premiere|accessdate=2008-08-23 |publisher=JoBlo]


On February 2, 2008, Sylvester Stallone informed Reuters in an interview that making a fifth Rambo would depend on the success of the fourth movie but that he thought he was "gearing one up" and that it would "be quite different". [cite web|url=http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSL02468068 |title=INTERVIEW-Stallone challenges Myanmar junta, eyes "Rambo 5" |accessdate=2008-05-09 |publisher=Reuters] On March 10, 2008, Moviehole.net revealed that in an interview with Metro magazine, Stallone said that he was "half-way through" writing "Rambo V" and that it would not be another war movie. [cite web|url=http://www.moviehole.net/news/20080310_stallone_halfway_through_writi.html |title=Stallone "half-way through" writing Rambo 5 |accessdate=2008-05-09 |publisher=Moviehole.net] On March 20, Moviehole.net also said that ScreenDaily.com had revealed that the film would be shot in Bulgaria and later received word from a source that Bulgaria was to double for John Rambo's home town in Arizona. [cite web|url=http://www.moviehole.net/news/20080320_rambo_5_to_film_in_bulgaria.html |title=Rambo 5 to film in Bulgaria |accessdate=2008-05-09 |publisher=Moviehole.net] [cite web|url=http://www.moviehole.net/news/20080322_rambo_will_return_to_america.html |title=Rambo will return to America! |accessdate=2008-05-09 |publisher=Moviehole.net] On September 9, Moviehole.net reported that Stallone had finished writing "Rambo 5" and will be directing it. He is also set to write "Rambo 6" as well. [cite web|url=http://www.moviehole.net/200815417-sly-directing-rambo-5 |title=Sly directing Rambo 5 |accessdate=2008-09-12 |publisher=Moviehole.net]


External links

* [http://rambofilm.com/ Official site]
*imdb title|id=0462499|title=Rambo
*metacritic film|id=rambo2007|title=Rambo
*mojo title|id=rambo08|title=Rambo
*amg movie|id=1:389422|title=Rambo

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