In this instalment of the series Rambo has to defeat a ruthless Mexican cartel. The talented cast includes: Sylvester Stallone as Rambo, Paz Vega as Carmen Delgado, Louis Mandylor as Sheriff, Joaquin Cosio as Untitled, Oscar Jaenada as Victor Martinez, Yvette Monreal as Gabrielle, Adriana Barraza as Maria Beltran, Marco De la o as Miguel, Sergio Peris-mencheta as Hugo Martinez, Jessica Madsen as Untitled, Sheila Shah as Alejandra, Nick Wittman as Jimmy, Diana Bermudez as Juanita, Atanas Srebrev as American Merc and Manuel Uriza as Sergio.
There is a Category 2 Storm in a forest region. There are people in danger. Rambo (played by the experienced Sylvester Stallone) is there on horseback trying to save them. The storm is extremely heavy, water rushing everywhere. Intense scenes seen here, great editing.
"He manages to save some of them but one man got washed away. 'You did what you could John' says the Police Guard. Rambo looks heart broken, he lost a few people. What a great introduction to the movie. In typical fashion Rambo saves the day by himself, with his own smarts. Elements from the first Rambo film are shown here and that is excellent"Rambo then returns to his home in the country side in Arizona. Rambo lives there with an older woman Maria (played very well by Adriana Barraza) who helps run the farm.
John is sad that he couldn't save all three people. There is a quiet tone to this part of the movie which I enjoyed. Rambo then trains his horse the next day.
"I've never seen Rambo on a horse heheh, Sylvester Stallone must have trained!, he looks great doing maneuvers. Maria speaks spanish to Rambo and he replies hehe. I must say Stallone looks in great shape, it's evident that this guy still works out hehe"Maria prepares his meal. Rambo then repairs a leak in an underground tunnel of his property. We don't know exactly why the tunnels are there. Maybe Rambo built them or they have always been there. Rambo has flashbacks to the forest thunderstorm and his past army missions like when he was in Vietnam. Rambo and his niece go horseback riding.
This quiet start to a full on action movie is cool. It's the quiet before the storm and you can feel it. Rambo's niece Gabrielle (played by the stunning Yvette Monreal) is having a party with her friends. She takes her friends into the tunnels and they party. She says to Rambo that her friends asked about the tunnels. She said that her uncle John likes digging hehehe.
"Gabrielle wants to go to Mexico to find her lost father. This is when the movie starts getting interesting. Up until this point the movie had had a relaxed tone. I think this was a master stroke in that during this first period we get re-aquainted with Rambo. We meet people that he cares about (Maria and Gabrielle). What a great setup for the hard core action that will proceed"
Rambo hates Gabrielle's father because he betrayed his family. Rambo doesn't want her to go to Mexico. He stops her from going and tells her to wait until she is older.
"Maria also tries to stop her from going. Great acting by Adriana Barraza as Maria. She brings an authenticity to the role"Maria and Rambo finally forbid her to go, it's too dangerous.
But Gabrielle lies that she's going to a friend's house and then goes to Mexico. She stays at a friends place (Gizelle) in Mexico. Gizelle tells her what life is like here. She lives in poverty, there is no work. Life's hard. Back at the ranch Rambo can sense that something is not right. Gizelle drops Gabrielle off to see her real dad. Manuel, her real father, opens the door. He says "Your all grown up". Gabrielle says "Why did you leave us?".
"Manuel then becomes quite harsh with her and says he never cared for her mother or her. Gabrielle is heart broken. You really feel for Gabrielle at this point. Great acting by the beautiful Yvette Monreal"Gabrielle and Gizelle go to a nightclub. A man spikes her drink. We cut to the house of a Mexican drug lord. It's a big expensive house with guards. The drug lord is there with his men. The news that Gabrielle is missing gets to Rambo. The Mexican Cartel has imprisoned some women that they kidnapped.
"Gabrielle is one of the kidnapped and she is scared. Rambo drives to Mexico. You can see the pain in Rambo's face as he drives there. You know that he is furious and that he will stop at nothing to save her... by himself. This is the Rambo we love!"
Rambo talks to Manuel, Gabrielle's father. "All this shit is because of you" he says to Manuel as he man handles him. Rambo then finds and talks to Gizelle. Gizelle was too drunk to know what happened. Rambo wants Gizelle to take her to the club. Rambo wants her to point out the guys Gabrielle was talking too. She points him out. Carmen Delgado (played by the beautiful and versatile Paz Vega) is also there at the bar. Rambo passes her by.
Rambo waits until the man (that Gizelle pointed out) is outside before he attacks him and asks him where Gabrielle is.
"Rambo grabs the mans shoulder and hurts him by pressing his colar bone with his thumb. Rambo actually cuts a hole in the shoulder and he breaks bone, it's gruesome. You realise now that Rambo isn't messing around, he wants answers. From this point forward the movie becomes a full on action piece which is what we all highly anticipated"The man tells Rambo what he needs to know. Then Rambo arrives at another location. But there are men surveillancing him, seeing him walk around. So the men surround him. They steal Rambo's wallet. The men pull out Gabrielle's photo and they recognise her.
"Several men beat up Rambo, he's injured badly. This beating is brutal, body/head shots and kicks. Rambo is tough but these guys hurt him real bad. The Mexican Drug lord cuts an X on Rambo's face to remind him never to mess with them again. He lets Rambo live"
Carmen (the girl that was in the bar earlier) was in a car close by, she helps him up and into her car. Carmen has an interest in taking down the cartel too. The second in command Cartel Man asks Gabrielle who Rambo was. He injures her and also cuts an X on her face. We cut to Rambo getting stiched up by a doctor.
In the next scene it's been 4 days since Rambo was beat up and he has healed somewhat.
"He is in Carmens house. She looked after him. Although Paz Vega has a small role as Carmen she performs with a realness that aided the films authenticity. Paz Vega is quite beautiful. There is some chemistry between Rambo and her and their exchanges are cool to watch"
Rambo wants to work with her. Rambo pretends that he wants a girl in a brothel that he is investigating. Rambo bashes the men at the front and finally finds Gabrielle! Rambo drives her home. The second in command Cartel Man is furious at his Boss who had let Rambo live.
Rambo drives Gabrielle home. Gabrielle is not in good shape. Rambo talks to her and keeps her awake. "Raising you was the best thing that ever happened to me" says Rambo. But it's too late, Gabrielle passes on. Rambo drives to his ranch. Maria and Gabrielle bury Gabrielle. It is a sad moment for both of them.
"Maria is hurting, great acting by Adriana Barraza. To say that Rambo is furious and vengeful is an understatement. The audience feels for Rambo and they know what is coming next... Utter Carnage!!!"Rambo has waited for this day though. He arms his ranch. He plans on luring the enemy there.
"He creates arrows and weapons and lays traps all over. He sharpens knives, practices bow and arrow and prepares his tunnels. I enjoyed these awesome preparation scenes"
Rambo visits Carmen in Mexico. Rambo wants to find the leaders of the Cartel and destroy them. Quite simply Rambo wants revenge and he really yearns to make them feel pain. Rambo visits the under-boss's house. He defeats the first guard and second with knives. he goes inside and kills the under-boss leaving him bleeding. The main boss arrives to see the mess. The Cartel tracks Rambo and drives to his ranch.
The Cartel use several vehicles. But Rambo had put explosives all around and they go off, destroying some of the vehicles and men.
"The men enter one of the tunnels. There are booby traps in there (polls with knives at the end that fire automatically). Some men die here in a gruesome way. Rambo is armed with knives and a shot gun. There are holes in the tunnel and Rambo shoots through them. These scenes are quite innovative with Rambo luring them in and then disposing of them with hand made weapons"
Rambo plays 70s rock music in the background hehe. This adds a comical tone but the action is still heavy. In the next scene a more serious movie soundtrack is used. The men fire at Rambo and he's injured in the stomach. They get him again in the shoulder. For one man vs an group of men Rambo isn't doing that bad but he is hurt bad.
Only the Boss is left and Rambo wanted it this way. Rambo then destroys the tunnels.
"He tells the Boss to leave first, he wants him alive for now. Rambo waits for the perfect time and uses Bow and Arrow to hurt the boss. All four arrows land. Rambo knives him in the stomach and he goes all the way up. He takes his heart out. This is one of the most gruesome scenes in the movie. But you have to remember that Rambo wanted utter revenge for the death of his beloved niece"
Rambo is victorious but he is injured and exhausted. He sits on a rocking chair. This was the ranch was were he was born. It was special for him. "I will fight to keep their memories alive" he says about the fallen.
"I think the fact that the final fight took place at the ranch was very innovative. You kind of knew it was going to happen and it was a great lead up. Some of the action scenes in this Rambo movie are extremely brutal. But it works in the context of Rambo's revenge. Rambo is an expert at creating weapons and setting traps and in this movie you see this in overdrive. Wow! My hat goes off to Sylvester Stallone. He is still a formidable force in action movies! What I have always loved about him is that he excels in the quieter scenes and buildup portion of his movies. What a great actor"
Action stars also need to express emotions through their face and Stallone dominated this genre because of this. His body also has brutality written all over it and this movie was no exception. The supporting cast was also exceptional. Paz Vega as Carmen, Adriana Barazza as Maria, Yvette Monreal as Gabrielle, Sergio Peris-Mencheta as Hugo (the Cartel Boss) and Pascacio Lopez as El Flaco (second in command of Cartel). What a great movie. Brutal innovative scenes from one of the greatest action hero's ever; Sylvester Stallone! Enjoy the intense 1h 29min.