Well, this is interesting. John Mueller at the LA Times has compiled some nifty numbers from the odious schlockfest known as the Rambo franchise, an unapologetic affront to all things cinematic that began in 1982 and has recently emerged from a ten-year coma to once again stab us in the eyes and piss in our ears.
The new Rambo movie, cleverly titled Rambo, opens tonight in the US and it completely amazes me that there will be people lining up to part with a portion of their hard-earned money for the express purpose of having their intellects insulted for 90 minutes.
Don’t get me wrong; I like to suspend my disbelief as much as the next guy, but come on. I’m not willing to just lay my brain aside and clap my hands like a drooling idiot every time Sly kills someone or pops off a sophomoric one-liner.
I continually grasp at the gossamer hope that one day Americans will grow beyond the desire to watch militaristic muscle-bound dumbasses shoot the shit out of stuff. The fact that John Rambo is always sticking it to “the Man” is of little consolation when his contrived soliloquies are the most intellectually stimulating aspects of the films. In the trailer, for example, we hear the bowie-wielding philosopher say, “Live for nothing, or die for something.”
And check out the screencap from Rambo at right. Clearly, ol' John hasn’t had any kind of snake handling training. He has no concept of what the hooked stick is for and has freely offered his forearm to a cobra, even going so far as to roll up his sleeve! Of course, this is probably the one cobra in the entire world that neglects to take the ready opportunity to strike its assailant, instead preferring to weave about menacingly until slammed against a tree. Or something like that, anyway. I haven’t actually seen the movie.
I blame the audience for this garbage being foisted upon us. As I mentioned above, I have no doubt there will be plenty of gung-ho, might-is-right, bring-it-on, kill-em-all-and-let-god-sort-em-out, war-loving types who will gladly pull a sweaty wad of Washingtons out of their fatigues simply for the “pleasure” of watching Stallone shoot a lot of big guns.* Then they’ll sit around and talk about their favorite scenes over a case of Budweiser before going out back with their modified assault rifles for the redneck equivalent of a group orgasm.
Me, I’ll be putting my nine bucks down on Cloverfield. Sure, there’ll likely be just as much death as in Rambo, but at least there’s the potential for an intelligent message to be delivered along the way.
*Draw whatever psychological conclusions you want from that, by the way. It doesn’t take a psychology grad student to understand the implications of such an intimate love of firearms.