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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Rambo’s return a simple, gory treat

You have to give credit to Sylvester Stallone. Some might say he’s too old and past his prime, but when he sets out to do a project, he knows his limits. He’s kept his two recent films decently grounded, with no fancy, complicated plots or high production values. It’s clear that he understood this when going into his latest, “Rambo.” Written and directed by Stallone, “Rambo” is the fourth entry into the famous action franchise. Although “Rambo” is a rather poor film, there’s enough explosions and violence to satisfy any fan of action flicks.
Nearly twenty years after his last adventure, Rambo now lives in a small village just outside of the civil war-engulfed Burma, working for a snake charmer. After returning from a trip into the jungle, a group of doctors and missionaries ask him to take them upriver into Burma so they can give aid to those hit hardest by the war. After some persuasion, he brings them to a small village. Of course, the village is later attacked and the doctors captured. Rambo is then asked to bring a group of mercenaries to the village so the doctors can be rescued. Rambo brings the mercenaries into the jungle but plans to rescue the doctors himself.
If you have a weak stomach, stay far away from this film. “Rambo” pulls no punches in its brutal depiction of violence. Very rarely does a film come along that’s this graphic, especially in Hollywood. So many arms, legs and heads go flying that the jungle turns from lush green to crimson red, all because of one machete. And if decapitations aren’t enough, there are plenty of explosions.
Stallone lets the action take center stage, a wise decision given the film’s weak story. But it’s “Rambo,” and anyone expecting a meaningful film will be in for a shock. What’s great about the story is that it never gets in the way of the action. The pacing is pretty poor in the first act, but once the guns and knives come into play, it’s rarely a problem. Basically, the story is used as one long setup for Rambo to go on a killing spree.
Another smart move was the script. The dialogue is still bad, but never does Stallone descend into cheesy one-liner territory. In fact, Rambo hardly talks at all during the movie, which is ideal.
What may come as a surprise is Stallone’s acting. While I wouldn’t go as far to say that he may be a contender for an award, his performance is enjoyable and adds personality to the film. From the second the movie starts, it feels like another “Rambo” flick and not some rushed cash-in. However, the rest of the cast is terrible, which only makes Stallone look better. Even for an action film of this caliber, it would have been nice to see somebody with a little bit of talent show up.
The weakest aspect is the portrayal of the Burmese soldiers. Stallone goes way over the top in his representation of the enemy. Evil doesn’t do them justice – these guys are crazed, demon-possessed maniacs from the deepest pits of hell. I know they’re the bad guys, but some of these scenes will have you laughing in disbelief. To counter this, Rambo is glorified to an absurd level. It can sometimes be comical, but it can also feel awkward.
“Rambo” may just be the worst film that I’d ever recommend. If you go in with realistic expectations, you’ll love it. But despite all the cheering and applauding I did, I always knew it was a bad film. But I don’t think any action fan would want to see “Rambo” done any other way.

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