Twenty years later, ‘Rambo’ still packs punch

The name Rambo hasn’t been seen in lights for two decades. But now it seems the action hero is back with a vengeance. The new installment is even more brutal, ferocious and gory then the first three movies combined.

If the James Bond franchise can go more than 30 years as a blockbuster classic, then surely the Rambo films can attempt the same feat.

Action star Sylvester Stallone reprises his role as John James Rambo in the latest installment of the series. The third Rambo movie, “Rambo III,” was released in 1988, leaving a 20-year gap between the last film and the newest edition.

But rest assured, the same amount of action the earlier films were known for can be found in this one.

If Rambo looks a little bit older – that’s because he is. However, Stallone proves his age is only a number when he lights up the screen by kicking, punching, stomping, shooting, cutting and killing every living thing that stands in his way.

Generally, cinematic trilogies and sagas tend to become cliché and predictable. Does “Spider-Man 3” ring a bell? However, “Rambo” barely misses falling into the same category. Though the plot is weak, the action and pace are strong.

The thin plot involves a group of American missionaries who want to bring hope to Burma, a country found in Southeast Asia that is in the middle of a heated war. Women are raped, men are murdered and babies are tossed around like rag dolls as the missionaries work to bring peace to the country. If only it were that easy.

Rambo, who has retired from kicking butt, is now a snake hunter. The missionaries sought help from him for transportation to Burma. Needless to say, these naive missionaries are taken into captivity and it’s up to Rambo to rescue them.

Directed and co-written by Stallone himself, the film stars a group of relatively unknown actors who do their part to keep the action rolling. And oh, what a roll it is. There is never a dull moment in “Rambo.” Whether it’s an explosion or a person being decapitated, the movie moves at a quick pace that is sure to leave action enthusiasts satisfied.

Stallone shows that heroes aren’t made, they’re born – and quite dangerous when provoked. The film is rated R for strong graphic bloody violence, sexual assaults and grisly images and language, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.