Anyone else seen this yet? As you can realise by what lies beneath, I was moved to a bit of rant after seeing Rambo IV. I am a self confessed fan of the Rambo films. Growing up, I always had this impression (as I wasn't allowed to see them at such a young age) that they were hyper-violent, knife pornfests, with no real story lines and awful production values. I'm old enough to remember the tabloid hoo-har about the Rambo combat knives with the unscrewable handles, and the Daily Mail/Express led campaign of vitriol directed at the films and their apparent attempt to corrupt the young and encourage random acts of violence - Michael Ryan didn't help much. But then I saw all three movies and realised what a load of old guff the press were spewing. First Blood has exactly one death in, and that is an accident. It's otherwise a pretty thrilling, highly enjoyable chase movie. Rambo 2 upped the ante violence wise, but even so had a decent storyline, and some really memorable action set pieces. Now for me Rambo 3 is the best of the bunch. Politically naive, cheesey as anything, but has some stonking action in it, some great characters, terrific music, and some truly iconic movie moments. Then we come to Rambo IV. All I can is that I hope Sly is man enough to realise was an abortion of a movie it is. There really isn't much that's right about it. It's a Rambo movie in name only really. Stallone looks like a freak of nature in it. He says male growth hormones are a good thing - look in the mirror mate. You look like someone wearing a latex skin suit, with an oversized prosthetic lowerlip. It's telling that he never takes off his t-shirt in the film as he looks like a fat man with muscled arms. I was transfixed by his grossness to begin with, and that then mutated into disgust and pity as the film progressed. In case you didn't know what the story was about, it goes like this: Rambo reluctantly takes some Bible-basers by river to Burma, to help the persecuted tribes people. Bible-bashers get put into bambo cages. Rambo goes back with bunch of mercenaries to rescue them. He kills everyone in Burma. In between we get some of the most gratuitous violence I have seen in a mainstream Hollywood movie. Forget the slasher-porno-grossfests of stuff like Hostel and Saw etc. Here you get burning children being tossed into a burning hut... and then flamethrower-ed. People explode every few moments. Grunts are decapitated by machine gun fire. Limbs are hacked off. The weird and slightly disturbing thing is that it's done in the same sort of way the Private Ryan action is done, but it seems so wrong and unnecessary in a dumb action movie. It opens with all sorts of horrendous real-life footage of various war crimes and bloated rotting bodies, and you feel like the producers wanted to out-do even this, with even more grim stuff in the movie. Don't get me wrong, I love plenty of violent movies. Violence can be essential to tell a story, or can be the reason for watching the film if done right, with style or for impact. But this is like watching big budget re-shoots of the YouTube vids of real life atrocities or war footage purely to give sickos a semi. The badguys in Rambo films (excluding First Blood) have always been larger than life, 2D KGB/Vietcong bogey men. The characterisation in Rambo IV begins and ends with the main Burmese officer being a child molester. I'm gonna leave it there, and throw it open to the floor. Suffice to say, avoid this like a case of genital warts.