Rambo: The Complete Collector’s Set (Blu-ray)
Click on the title below to read the individual review of each film:
Rambo: Extended Cut (Note: The “Extended Cut” is not included in this set)
“What most people call hell, he calls home.” This is one of many clever, overly ridiculous taglines and quotes that come from the killing good time that is the RAMBO series. In RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II, Rambo asks Colonel Trautman, “Sir, do we get to win this time?” Rambo, you always win.
The Rambo films are definitely a love them or loathe them style of movies. What makes Rambo so comforting and easy to root for as a hero is it is very black and white. The bad guys are really bad and the good guys, who is basically just him, are really good. He has a heart of gold but has no problem killing every person he comes across that stands for evil. And believe me each enemy get progressively worse and the bloody mayhem that Rambo wreaks upon them gets more gruesome.
I have to hand it to Sylvester Stallone; he understands what is entertaining to the mass audiences. Stallone had a hand in writing every script and finally got behind the camera to direct the fourth installment. Although from the special features, it sounds like he practically directed the others with most of the creative control. Stallone deserves a lot of credit seeing that sometime his acting was not where it should be and needed to cut out many of his speaking scenes. As it stands, the RAMBO films are short on dialogue and heavy on action.
A key component to keeping a film moving without dialogue is an adrenaline filled soundtrack. Composer Jerry Goldsmith created an iconic score for Rambo. Without the driving force of the music, I firmly believe these films would not have worked. Another key to the success is the short length of the films. Every RAMBO movie comes in at about an hour and a half, except for the third one, which is closer to two hours. RAMBO III is the weakest of the series and I believe if you trimmed it up a bit it would do wonders. I usually hate movies that are short because I don’t feel like the filmmakers cared enough to give me my money’s worth. However, this is the exception to that rule. RAMBO gets in and gets out with so much energy and destructive fun that the audience doesn’t have enough time to poke holes at all the improbable and silly scenarios.
The films individually show a lot of weakness, but when you put all the films together for the Blu-ray set, you realize it’s all about the brand that Rambo brings as a character and as a movie. If they didn’t have those outlandish moments the films would suffer. This is what audiences love about Rambo. He can go into any situation and single handedly win wars without consequence. He always wins, even against corruption from the side he is fighting for. He is not afraid to die and will die for anyone and anything that we all believe to be right. What’s better than one Rambo? Four Rambo’s.