REVIEW: Rambo IV (2008) – ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Rambo IV (2008)

rambovWhen they started reviving classcs in the 00’s, it didn’t look good.  I think Terminator 3 started it all, a film that I categorically hate (Campinator might be a better title).  Then there was the double blow of Alien Vs Predator.  Only Paul W.S. Anderson could ruin two franchises with one movie.  Then Live Free or Die Hard.  These were bad updates to good films.  So when Rambo was coming down the pipe, the worst was feared.  I specifically remember how my mind was placed at ease – a violent, ripping three minute preview being passed onto Aint it Cool. After seeing that clip, I gave in and allowed myself to be hyped.  This was no ordinary trailer and it seemed to fit right with the legend.

And it didn’t disappoint. Rambo IV kind of a mixture of First Blood, which I think is the best of the four, and Rambo II+III.  Rambo is less a caricature than he was in the previous two, but retains the sheer kinetic excitement of both. Rambo is vulnerable again, that helps. Another ‘refreshing’ thing about this film – and a reference to Stallone’s guile, is the setting and theme.  To be honest by 2008, I was getting sick of Middle Eastern movies, so it was good to have Stallone come out of left field with Burma as the hotspot.  With this film, it’s also like Stallone stuck two fingers up to the cookie-cutter direction of the action genre.  By 2008 the Comic Book Movie was taking over everything, seemingly the action genre too.  Where were the films for people who didn’t give a shit about feature-length toy adverts?  Over here, said Rambo, giving a big Fuck You to trending.

I have a shit eating grin on my face when I watch this movie.  What you see is what you get.  Limbs fly, men’s throats get pulled out, men get gutted, bodies explode.  Have .50 calibre weapons ever appeared so good as they have in this movie?  The Barrett and Browning .50 guns are handled by Stallone as if they’re individual members of the cast.  The Barrett discharges like a bomb going off, and Stallone turns an entire cast into chaff when he spawn-camps with the Browning.  You know, if it wasn’t for the ballsy action and violence in this movie – desperately out of place in the 00’s – we probably wouldn’t have got an Expendables trilogy.  This movie practically revived an entire genre, like a bull raging through a toy-store. It somehow lived up to its predecessors.
Is it the best Rambo?  No, the first two are superior.  But most who appreciate the genre don’t appreciate its importance.



  1. jim

    August 24, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Now I want to see it again.

  2. Andymovieman

    August 24, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    Great Rambo movie par to the first three. Hope Stallone does another Rambo and does it right as well as Expendables 4.

    • Andymovieman

      August 25, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      It set the bar for the Expendables movies even though Sly fucked up the third expendables.

  3. Mucho Macho

    August 24, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    Saw it 3 times in cinemas..
    Felt like a fuckid kid watching it.
    i fuckin love it
    on a curious note the directors cut it’s actually a little bit less violent than the theatrical cut. go figure.
    it’s usually the other way around.
    Rambo is a fucking Action Manly Masterpiece

  4. Mucho Macho

    August 24, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    Since they have Comic-Con..
    Why don’t they have
    I’ll go to that shit

  5. guest

    August 25, 2015 at 1:06 am

    yeah. i’m curious to see what happens with R5. we still don’t know anything about rambo’s background. in the novel versions of the rambo movies and first blood novel, rambo’s family and his life on the farm before the vietnam war is described in detail. So rambo 4 ending we see rambo go home finally. so it will be interesting.
    will we find out what happened to Trautman? will he be mentioned? who is the enemy this time?

  6. Georg Walker

    August 25, 2015 at 7:54 am

    This movie was really needed at the time it came out, because the cinema was infested with girly men and whiny sissy boys on a larger scale than even today. And out of nowhere comes Sly with a movie for the manliest of men and saves the day.

  7. Michael Gittens

    August 25, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Brilliant film but I just felt it was too short. At the end I was like “Is that it?”

  8. Barney Ross

    August 25, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    I was gonna post my RAMBO 5 fake trailer that everyone loved and had 150 000 views on Youtube, but one fucking retarded cockroach deleted it…sorry guys.

    I can make a better one though…

  9. Barney Ross

    August 25, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Rambo 4 is for real man. A violent masterpiece. I still like Rambo 2 and 3 the best for many reasons but Rambo 4 is hardcore andi have big respect for that movie and for what Stallone did in 2008. Too bad he (almost) ruined the respect i had for him with that shitty Expendables 3 PG13 garbage.

    Stallone deserve respect for making it, but on the other hand he deserve to be bashed for PG13 Expendables 3.

    Rambo 5 needs to be hardcore R then he will gain back my respect.

  10. Goro

    August 25, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Yes I remember at that time I had forgotten completely about old school action, and suddenly I saw Rambo. It is in top 10 best action movies ever made. But unfortunately Stallone raised the bar so high with it that he could not keep it in all of his next movies. Love Expendables but still Rambo is just above all Expendables combined I think.

  11. Lucas Accardo

    August 27, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    10/10 The best action movie in recent times. Sheer visceral beauty. You can’t plan a movie like this, it just happened.

  12. ColonelBobi

    January 20, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    It’s the best Rambo since First Blood. Lol at ‘spawn camps’. Rambo tried that shit on my server he’d be booted for baseraping! Those poor Burmese goons did’nt stand a chance. Seeing that scene for the first time elicited a proper wtf moment. My only gripe is he did’nt tear that lame cockney guy a new one for calling him ‘bladdy boatman’.