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The latest iteration of Rambo is. And I don’t care that it’s only January.

So some Christian missionaries are headed into Burma to bring medicine, food, and the Gospel to victims of genocide. They need Rambo to help them get from Thailand into Burma without inviting attention from pirates or military who would be more than happy to decimate intruders. Rambo says no. Then a missionary lady lays some humanist mush on him, something about believing in people. Rambo then says yes. The missionaries are eventually captured by some pederast of a general, the missionaries’ pastor from Colorado hires some mercenaries to rescue them, and Rambo ends up saving everyone.

This film subtracts from the sum total of human knowledge. There is very little dialogue, and what dialogue there is, is stupid and vulgar. The violence in this shameless spectacle is so over the top it makes Apocalypto look like Gumby’s Greatest Adventure . Rambo is nothing more than a sadistic gorefest: rife with disembowlments, beheadings, exploding bodies, severed limbs, tortured children, and raped and caged women. Stallone, who directed, probably intended to show the horrors of genocide and so bring attention to such a terrible situation as actually exists in Burma —into which he then drops a monosyllabic cartoon character who, after slaughtering scores, if not hundreds, of Burmese, walks into the sunset with a boo-boo on his shoulder. Stallone succeeds only in trivializing such nightmares.

Do not go to see this film. In fact, if you see this film listed on a marquee, cross the street, put your hands over your ears, and start to hum until you’re at least a few dozen yards away. I saw this waste of bamboo in the Dolby Studios screening room, which probably possesses the best sound system (as you’d expect from Dolby) east of Hollywood. I swear I suffered tinnitus for a good 12 hours after being subjected to this cacophonous torture device.

Someone concocted a ” Rambo Death Chart .” This does not do justice to the extent of the carnage—heads on pikes; bloated, boil- and fly-ridden corpses; hanged men; frayed and desecrated victims of torture who have literally been fed to wild pigs. I would rather watch Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot every day for a year than ever encounter another frame of this dehumanizing piece of kee dta .

As for the depiction of the missionaries, to say that they’re a benign force is too kind. Instead of fundamentalist imperialists, the Christians are depicted as well-meaning but clueless—at least as far as acknowledging the full extent of human depravity. (They probably were Arminians.) They not only fail to help in any sustained way the victims of genocide but accidentally ignite a slow-brewing civil war. (To paraphrase one of the mercenaries hired to save their sorry behinds: They finally have to call in the devil to do God’s work.) One of the missionaries, who had chastised Rambo early on for killing three pirates in quick succession, ends up smashing some Burmese soldier’s skull to jellied mush in a vengeful fury.

The moral of our story? Only mass slaughter will bring peace to a troubled nation, or, at the very least, get you back to Colorado.

The tagline of Rambo is “Heroes never die . . . they just reload.” Unfortunately for the audience, Stallone is shooting blanks.

Update: All I can say is oy vey .



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