But why would you want to? Despite its humanitarian story, the new Rambo is an orgy of violence and death. That its villains are inhuman tyrants who, for their own entertainment, send their prisoners to their deaths, is no reason to excuse the excessive carnage in this film. Rambo is an ugly exercise that toys with a Christian notion of suffering and sacrifice only so that it can deliver the extended gun battles, explosions and blood-spurting requisite for this type of film. In so doing, it betrays the ideals its characters seek to uphold.

Rambo could have gone much deeper into questions about Christian suffering and personal redemption, but it keeps those issues on the surface. It’s less interested in preserving the lives of its missionary protagonists than it is with taking the lives of their tormentors. The film does not reinvigorate the Rambo franchise—as Batman Begins and Casino Royale did for the Batman and James Bond films—nor does it offer any compelling reason to continue the series. Let’s hope this is the last of the First Blood series of films.

Questions? Concerns? Contact the writer at crosswalkchristian@earthlink.net.

CAUTIONS:

  • Language/Profanity:  Lord’s name taken in vain; lots of profanity, including liberal use of the “f”-word; discussion of cutting out tongues and eating intestines.
  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Some smoking and drinking.
  • Sex/Nudity:  Brief image of a naked backside; naked children and upper-waist nudity of villagers being attacked; naked corpses.
  • Violence:  Rambo hunts fish with a crossbow; prisoners are sent into a river littered with mines on the riverbed; mines detonate and blood gushes upward; numerous people are machine-gunned; limbs are blown off; people are burned to death; a decapitated head is shown on a stake; animals chew on dead bodies; men abuse female dancers; men are stabbed; a man is suffocated, as blood runs through the killer’s fingers; massive explosion in the jungle; a man is slashed across his stomach and blood spills out.
  • Religion:  Christian missionaries lead a Bible study among the Burmese; Sarah gives Rambo a cross; a pastor persuades Rambo to join the hunt for the captive missionaries.