"Very Pro-Christian But Marred By Ultra-Violence"
After 20 years, Sylvester Stallone once again dons his bandana and picks up his bow and arrow to reprise his role as RAMBO, the troubled Vietnam vet who simply wants to live his life in peace but is continually thrust back into battles. In this latest, and most violent, installment of the action-packed RAMBO movie franchise, John Rambo finds himself heading into war-torn Burma to rescue missionaries who have been captured by the villainous Burmese military.
Trying to leave behind his troubled past, Rambo lives a quiet life in Thailand. When an American church group wants to take food, medicine and the Gospel into Burma and when they need a boatman to take them up the river, Rambo reluctantly agrees, mainly due to the promptings of one particularly beautiful missionary, Sarah.
When he drops them off, Sarah gives him a cross necklace to encourage his faith. Weeks later, he learns that they have been captured and taken prisoner by the ruthless military. He then accompanies a team of ex-military mercenaries into the prisoner camp to set Sarah and her companions free.
RAMBO is a good, testosterone-filled, action-packed movie; but, sadly, it suffers from mixed content.
On one hand, the movie presents a very clear, very strong moral worldview. It has clearly distinguished lines between good and evil. The movie also has very positive references to Christianity, including a very clear depiction of salvation through Christ as one missionary reads from a Bible and tells Burmese villagers, “Christ may dwell in your heart with faith.” The movie has a very positive view of missionaries, martyrdom, the Bible, a Christian pastor, prayer, and self-sacrifice.
On the other hand, and this is a heavy hand, RAMBO is one of the most violent movies in recent memory. The movie begins with rather violent news footage documenting the civil unrest in Burma, and it becomes more gruesome from there. The movie has nearly non-stop, gruesome, graphically violent scenes, including extended sequences of villages being destroyed and men, women and children being slaughtered.
Dramatically, the violence serves its purpose in portraying the inhumanity of the villains. However, less is more. It seems, though, in the case of this movie, Stallone seems to have forgotten that rule. Also, coupled with the violence is an excessive amount of very strong foul language. Mostly, the strong foul language comes from the mercenaries and the villains and never from the missionaries, but the language still accosts the viewer’s ears. Again though, Stallone, also the writer and director of the movie, would have been well served to stick to the “less is more” rule.
All in all, RAMBO is a well-made, fast-paced, action movie with very strong moral, redemptive and Christian content. It also is a bankable franchise. Regrettably, however, the excessive violence and foul language and R rating will probably keep a lot of audience members away. There are plenty of movies that are not excessive in content and that have uplifting characters and stories. To know about all of the great choices that families and people of faith have when they go to the theatre, please visit www.movieguide.org.
(BBB, CCC, Ab, FR, Ho, LLL, VVV, S, N, AA, DD, M) Very strong moral worldview with clear-cut good versus evil as Burmese military is violent, vicious and inhumane, even though both good characters and bad characters kill people there is still a very strong moral line, plus strong Christian content as church missionaries journey into war-torn area in order to bring food, medicine and the Gospel to Burmese villages, with very positive view of missionaries, martyrdom, the Bible, a Christian pastor, woman gives Rambo a cross necklace, speaks to him about faith and self-sacrifice, prayer depicted, missionary reads Scripture to Burmese villagers and says, “Christ may dwell in your heart with faith,” mercenary says he thinks that the missionaries are noble and Rambo makes statement of self-sacrifice as he says that “you can live for nothing or you can die for something,” one mercenary makes two anti-biblical statements about “sending the devil to do God’s work,” and when he rescues a captured missionary he says, “God didn’t save your life, we did,” plus false religion includes quick shot of Buddhist monks, and movie implies that evil Burmese General homosexually accosts young boys; 55 very strong obscenities and four profanities; extremely strong and bloody violence includes almost non-stop warfare action including shootings, limbs being blown off, decapitations, mines blowing people up and stabbings as well long sequences of the merciless slaughter of Burmese villagers from men to women and children including implied rape, also missionary is fed to pigs, explosions from bombs and grenades and many people shot with Rambo’s bow and arrow; sexual content includes two sequences of implied rape as well as the implication that the evil General rapes young boys; nudity includes upper male nudity, rear male nudity, and quick shot of upper female nudity as young woman has her shirt torn away during village raid; alcoholism includes out-of-control soldiers drinking to drunkenness; several scenes of cigarette smoking and discussion about military generals exporting crystal meth; and, miscellaneous immorality includes war mercenaries who want to give up on their mission and just take the money although they eventually fulfill their commitment, plus some gambling on cobra snake fighting.
In RAMBO, Sylvester Stallone, after 20 years, once again dons his bandana to reprise his role as the troubled Vietnam vet. Trying to leave behind his past, Rambo lives a quiet life in Thailand. When an American church group wants to take food, medicine and the Gospel into Burma and need a boatman to take them up river, Rambo reluctantly agrees, due to the promptings of one particularly beautiful missionary, Sarah. He drops them off, and Sarah gives Rambo a cross necklace to encourage his faith. Later, he learns they have been captured and taken prisoner by the ruthless military. He then accompanies a team of ex-military mercenaries into the camp to set Sarah and her companions free.
RAMBO is an exciting, testosterone-filled, action-packed movie, but suffers from mixed content. On one hand, the movie presents a very strong moral worldview. It has clearly distinguished lines between good and evil. The movie also has very positive references to Christianity, including very clear depictions of salvation through Christ, missionaries, martyrdom, the Bible, prayer, and self-sacrifice. The movie is extremely ultra-violent, however, and the non-Christian characters and villains use many strong obscenities.