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Rambo (Rambo IV) (2008)

tomatometer

37

Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 142
Fresh: 53 | Rotten: 89

Sylvester Stallone knows how to stage action sequences, but the movie's uneven pacing and excessive violence (even for the franchise) is more nauseating than entertaining.

26

Average Rating: 4.1/10
Critic Reviews: 31
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 23

Sylvester Stallone knows how to stage action sequences, but the movie's uneven pacing and excessive violence (even for the franchise) is more nauseating than entertaining.

audience

69

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 408,198

My Rating

Movie Info

When a group of missionary aid workers in Myanmar disappear into the vast green inferno, vigilante Vietnam War veteran John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) leaves his job as a Salween River boatman behind to accompany a group of mercenaries on a daring rescue mission. It's been 20 years since Rambo helped mujahedeen rebels fend off Soviet invaders in Afghanistan, and these days the former soldier lives a simple life in northern Thailand. Meanwhile, the world's longest-running civil war rages into its

May 27, 2008

$42.7M

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All Critics (143) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (53) | Rotten (89) | DVD (10)

The orgy of violence, as ghastly as in any video game, should go a long way toward erasing whatever goodwill Stallone earned with his sentimental Rocky Balboa.

December 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (4)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

90 minutes of violence. No more, no less.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As vehement in its stereotyping as World War II propaganda.

January 31, 2008 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As the current obsession with Reagan suggests, it's back to fantasyland!

January 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Well-shot and well-edited violence porn.

January 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

No longer is Rambo killing for a cause, but for kicks. And his portentous blather, even by Rambo standards, becomes unintentionally hilarious.

January 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Washington Post | Comments (5)
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Stallone uses his iconic character here to explore the necessary evils of violence through a brutal pop lens.

January 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
Projection Booth

Sly may be a crass tyrannosaurus, but he's not a fake

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

Light on plot, heavy on violence - Rambo isn't for everyone, however I think it perfectly appeals to the video game crowd.

August 3, 2009 Full Review Source: 3BlackChicks Review | Comments (2)
3BlackChicks Review

Do you want disembowelment and decapitation with your popcorn? Is gore glorious? Is brutality orgasmic? Is spurting blood the fountain of fun? If so, Rambo is 4 U.

February 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Fayetteville Free Weekly | Comments (8)
Fayetteville Free Weekly

Straightforward wish fulfillment -- imagine what crimes against humanity we could punish if we had real, indestructible Rambos.

October 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

It's not the perfect Rambo film I was hoping for, but it was a pretty entertaining one.

July 22, 2008 Full Review
Sin Magazine

Now we are no longer observing the icon... we are the icon.

June 14, 2008 Full Review Source: UGO

I know my credibility could take a hit here, but I am man enough to admit that I enjoyed watching Rambo once again don his famous headband and shoot enemies with his trusty bow and arrow.

May 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Watertown Daily Times | Comment (1)
Watertown Daily Times

(Rambo) really only has 3-4 minutes of redeeming entertainment.

May 17, 2008 Full Review Source: BDK Reviews | Comment (1)
BDK Reviews

Suspiciously wrinkle-resistant Stallone in comeback, a Rambo in serious need of anger management and not too shy to get into a little ripping out of throats with bare hands and selective disemboweling too.

May 13, 2008 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze | Comments (3)
NewsBlaze

The film does for the Myanmar genocide what I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry did for same-sex marriage...

May 1, 2008 Full Review Source: MSNBC | Comments (4)

Luckily, Rambo's years away from war haven't dulled his ability to rip out a man's throat with his bare hands.

April 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Peterborough This Week

'Rambo' is pure adrenaline, a frenzied rush into the heart of a jungle where the prevailing darkness is far more horrific than anything Kurtz could have imagined.

April 9, 2008
San Francisco Examiner

However you parse the character's evolution, Rambo the film shows a peculiar understanding of changes in the industry.

March 21, 2008 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

Quando comemorei o retorno de Stallone à boa forma artística, não imaginei que empregaria sua recém-reconquistada influência para realizar algo tão abominável quanto este Rambo IV.

March 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena | Comment (1)
Cinema em Cena

While Rambo is certainly not for everyone, it succeeds at being exactly what it sets out to be %u2014 a nostalgic, actionpacked, gore-splattered ode to the antihero of a bygone era.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Colorado Springs Gazette
Colorado Springs Gazette

I love Stallone, but this isn't any fun. I'm also concerned because he's starting to look like the Cloverfield monster. No more HGH!

February 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Tucson Weekly
Tucson Weekly

The hero's iconic inertia is photographed against molten skies or Judgment Day sunsets, providing moments of mythic repose between the pell-mell battle scenes.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Makes First Blood look like Bambi.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Sun Online
Sun Online

Audience Reviews for Rambo (Rambo IV)

I probably shouldn't have wasted my time with the edited version. On the other hand: when did more gore and violence ever make for a better movie? This way, the showdown was rather short and some character's fate entirely unknown. What does that leave left to say about the film? Very few surprises, a one-dimensional hero, no villain to speak of, just decent action sequences. It's also pretty tasteless to start an action film with actual footage of corpses from a civil war region. Rambo used to kill for a cause, now it feels like it's just violence porn. That's not okay.
June 30, 2013
ironclad1609

Super Reviewer

On an artistic level, this film's value is questionable, but I think mostly good...or at least tries. On an entertainment level, the film is great. This film is definitely the runner up in the series, but does come a bit close at times to matching the first entry. The story is okay, but like many action films, there's only just enough plot to provide a reason for tons of action, violence, blood, and gore. Those are all things that this film has more than enough of. That's not a bad thing though. Stallone is actually a really competent director, and under his direction, the violence and action aren't wasted. There's a moral center to the film, and it doesn't come off as too hokey, cheesy, or preachy, but it does have a clear stance on an important issue. How the film deals with that issue is where you could debate for hours on its merits and effectiveness.

This is a more mature Rambo. Not having any of the cheesiness of parts 2 and 3 really helps. Like Rocky Balboa, this film strives for a tone closer to the first film. In the case of this film though, it's not nearly as close as Rocky Balboa is. It's close though. I feel that this film is too short, but I don't really know what to add except for some more character development. The acting is decent (for what a film like this needs), but could have been better. It's clear Stallone wanted a Rambo more appropriate for his age, time, and to best fit the way the world is now, and he succeeded. Overall, this is a decently satisfying experience, despite its flaws- like being a bit predictable here and there.

He's spent years trying to achieve peace and put his past to rest, but Rambo still can't quite let go. He's gotten amazingly close, but finds himself forced to unearth his long buried but lethal set of skills in order to rescue a group of missionaries being held captive by the ruthless Burmese army and their vicious leader. Ordinarily Rambo wouldn't care, but he's regained some of his humanity and conscience, and I liked how the film handled the characters return to his old ways, but did so in a way that felt realistic and grounded.

This film probably has the most overt political and social message about it, and I liked it, although it can be hard to defend or justify the means used to solve problems. I mean, it's 91 minutes long, and there's a body count of about 236, so that's roughly over 2.5 kills every 60 seconds! Wow! And this is definitely the most visceral and brutal of the series too, as you see (in detail) bodies get blown to bits or shredded by gunfire instead of just falling down or going up in a puff of smoke. Like I said though, there is a purpose behind it.

The film is chock full of action, but there's a lot of down time as well, most of it well spent. When things get cooking though, this is definitely one of the most impressive and jaw dropping carnage fests ever, and it helps that the film actually tries to make it legitimately impactful.

All in all, a very satisfying, though still flawed film. What it lacks in overall emotional heft it more than makes up for viscerally. Plus, it's just nice seeing the character again, and the direction they they took him in. Having Goldsmith's old score get reincorporated was a wonderful nostalgic and masterful touch as well.
November 28, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Sylvester Stallone's Rambo is everything it sets out to be.The story is straightforward and it only requires a little over 80 minutes to get through it all. The plot unveils in a linear fashion and it is a steady climb until its mind blowing finale.The violence is brutal and gratuitous. The villains and setting of the picture also make the action that much more satisfying. It is honest and serious, but at the same time the highlight of everything that happens. The final 10 minutes warrants a standing ovation.Sylvester Stallone shows that he can direct, while also star as the lead with no problem. Julie Benz is a little preachy with her dialogue, but stands out as the lone female. The cast of mercenaries are an interesting bunch as well.Rambo holds nothing back and it delivers its entertainment in a bloody violent fashion. Go see it.
August 23, 2012
skactopus
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

Everything aside, this feels like a re-imagining of the first film, with small tributes to the action in the first two sequels. I cannot say that it is a giant leap forward for the franchise, but it is definitely best sequel to have come out. The action is bloody, gruesome, and awesome, the acting is decent, the story is generic but much more effective than the previous instalments, and I actually felt some emotion this time around. The dialogue is plain, but when there needs to be a strong line, there is no shortage of it being done well. This fourth instalment knew exactly what it wanted to be and knew that there was no room for originality left in this series. It was yet another excuse to have Johnny on the big screen again, but quite honestly, it was just plain awesome! Besides a few scenes that made me cringe and wish they weren't present, this film is a very fun ride!
July 1, 2012
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

    1. Lewis: Look at this fucking place. Only a fucking ape would live here. What the fuck am I doing here?
    2. En-Joo: Hey, knock that shit off.
    3. Reese: And you don't like the arts.
    4. Diaz: And you don't like shit.
    5. En-Joo: I like your sister, Diaz.
    6. Diaz: Yeah, she got a thing for retards.
    – Submitted by Cody H (17 months ago)
    1. John Rambo: Fuck the world.
    – Submitted by Jakob S (19 months ago)
    1. John Rambo: You know what you are. What you're made of. War is in your blood. Don't fight it. You didn't kill for your country. You killed for yourself. The gods are never gonna make that go away. When you're pushed, killing's as easy as breathing.
    – Submitted by Cody H (19 months ago)
    1. Snake Village Owner: We need another python. See what you can do. We have enough Cobras, okay?
    2. John Rambo: Fuck off, okay?
    – Submitted by Hasan R (23 months ago)
    1. John Rambo: Any of you boys want to shoot, now's the time. There isn't one of us that doesn't want to be someplace else. But this is what we do, who we are. Live for nothing, or die for something. Your call.
    – Submitted by Rocky F (2 years ago)
    1. John Rambo: Are you bringing any weapons?
    2. Burnett: No, of course not.
    3. John Rambo: Then you're not changing anything.
    – Submitted by Taylor W (2 years ago)
View all quotes (10)

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Latest News on Rambo (Rambo IV)

August 21, 2013:
Stallone Reportedly Attached for Rambo TV Show
Well, this is interesting.
May 3, 2010:
Stallone Says He's "99% Sure" Rambo 5 Won't Happen
After all those wacky rumors about the "Rambo 5" script, it looks like there won't be another sequel...
September 8, 2009:
Stallone Releases Synopsis, First Poster for Rambo 5
You heard that the fifth "Rambo" was going to pit the titular hero against a drug-dealing slave...

Foreign Titles

  • Rambo (DE)
  • Rambo (UK)
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