I made good on my word this evening. I blew off a Santa Barbara Film Festival movie, walked down to the Fiesta Five and plunked down ten bucks to see Rambo. Maybe it was because I’ve been watching nothing but festival movies for the past week and a half, but it’s so relentlessly blunt, so absurdly violent in a ’70s exploitation vein, so visceral and depraved and elbow-deep in jungle blood & guts that I loved it.
Every time a head got sliced or blown off, I laughed or let go with a big “yawww!” So did the mostly-male audience which applauded at the end. Everyone had a great time. I felt relaxed with these guys…bonded.
In other words, Rambo “works” in its own deranged way. It’s like an ultra-violent half-time show at the Super Bowl. It’s shit, of course, but it’s fast, fun and agreeably grotesque. Looking buff as hell and saying as little as possible, director-writer Sylvester Stallone keeps the action fast, tight and moist. It’s somehow exhilarating to watch scores of Burmese bad guys get their stomachs opened, bodies cut in half, windpipes ripped out, blown to smithereens (loved that thermonuclear claymore mine!)…and it just keeps getting better and better.
If you have any appreciation for coarse cheeseball action crap, you can’t help but be satisfied. Stallone deserves credit for taking things down to the brute-caveman level and unapologetically going to town.
This is the second best Rambo film after First Blood, and although it’s obviously not meant to be “funny,” it is at times, wildly so. I laughed out loud on a good five or six occasions. Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez are going to love this thing. You could even make a case for Rambo being an instant porno-violent classic in the vein of Ron Ormond‘s The Monster and the Stripper, Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s Santa Sangre, Herschel Gordon Lewis‘s Blood Feast…that line of country.