Alternately titled Rambo IV: To Hell and Back, Rambo is a cinematic demonstration of unremitting bloodshed. Much like the other three films in the series, Rambo does not hold a mercy rule. With its unapologetically hostile lead and plethora of murdered extras, Rambo is an incessantly violent capstone to what is now a ruthless quadrilogy.
Now a secluded snake capturer, Vietnam veteran John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) is asked to deliver a group of Christian human rights missionaries – led by Michael Burnett (Paul Schulze) and Sarah Miller (Julie Benz) – from his current home in Thailand to the persecuted people of Burma.
Knowing that Burma is a war zone under the vicious wrath of an unruly and corrupt army, Rambo initially refuses to assist the anxious Americans. However, after some minor convincing, Rambo agrees to guide the missionaries on their quest to aid the needy.
When the good guys (and gal) are inevitably captured by the bad guys, Rambo joins a set of mercenaries to vie with the Burmese army and rescue the innocent. The result is a relentless bloodbath.
Honoring the no-holds-barred attitude of its predecessors, Rambo chooses not to shield its audience from the gruesomeness of combat. Throughout the film, intestines are spilled, limbs are blown off, heads are staked, and bodies are converted to pink mist via land mines. As shocking as it may sound, the killings in Rambo could be equated to the Holocaust; innocent civilians are shot, burned, hanged, and raped without remorse. On the whole, Rambo is more genocide than thrill ride.
After all, Rambo’s brutal violence is what makes it a suitable fourth chapter to the First Blood series. The Rambo motion pictures are all about pure unadulterated action fit for men who feed on carnage. When Rambo states, “I don’t kill for my country; I kill for myself,” the feature takes on a homicidal tone. Yet, when Rambo possesses long stares that scream “I told you so,” after the battle royale, the audience both comprehends and appreciates his butchery.