It’s Like a Fairy Tale, Rambo in the Alcoves

Not sports-related, but we can’t be balling all the time.  Gotta wash the jerseys and give the cleats a rest from time to time.

No, Rambo is not like a fairy tale.  Sylvester Stallone’s self-directed film is definitely no picturesque canoe ride under stone bridges connecting banks of cottages and cathedrals dating back to the medieval times.  In Bruges, on the other hand, is quite the fairy tale–at least Ralph Fiennes’s character insists as much.


I saw In Bruges (written and directed by Martin McDonagh) in the afternoon and then Rambo at night.

Rambo Bruges

I watched the former because I was in the mood for a little dark comedy, and though I’m no Colin Farrell fan, the trailers made him out to be appealing (in terms of line delivery).  He and Brendan Gleeson are killers who are instructed by their boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes) to lay low in Bruges (hence the title) for two weeks until further notice.  By the end of the ninety-minute-long film, bullets fly, American tourists are made fun of and Canadian tourists are punched.  Such fun.  Comedy I certainly got; I just wasn’t expecting the dark parts to be so dark.


I was going to watch Rambo the day it came out or on my birthday, four days after the theatrical release, but it just didn’t happen.  I decided to see it tonight quite spontaneously–I didn’t feel like staying at home for the night.   I went to the AMC in Alpharetta–I think I was one of three females in the whole audience (which primarily consisted of male friends and fathers and sons of all ages).

The only two Sylvester Stallone films I’ve seen in their entirety are Cliffhanger and Judge Dredd.  Voice-overing for Antz doesn’t count.

A small Christian group from Colorado, led by doctor Michael (Paul Schulze) and church member Sarah (Julie Benz), persuades John Rambo to take them into war-torn Burma to deliver medical supplies to a village.  Michael tells John that this would be their fifth trip, which indicates that he knows about the dangers.  Significantly, though, the implication is that they’ve made it this far, they can make it again.  They reach their destination but don’t exactly make it back home within ten days.  Rambo takes a group of mercenaries (an Aussie (?), an Asian guy, an ambiguously marked ethnic Other, and two white dudes) to rescue the humanitarians.


Over the course of the film, heads detach from necks, limbs somersault through the air, children are impaled–the audience is not spared one drop of blood or squirmy imagery.  I’m glad I saw it.  Click here for Pete Vonder Haar’s review for Film Threat.

If the Sarah character looks familiar to you,


it’s probably because you’ve seen some of her other work: Jawbreaker, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (as Darla), Angel (also as Darla), and most recently Dexter.

Paul Schulze might give you the “hey, it’s that guy” reaction (he circulates widely on the TV circuit).  Coincidentally, I’ve seen him in two different films in the past week, Grind and The Unbelievable Truth–both starring the late Adrienne Shelly.

In Bruges trailer:

Rambo trailer:

The previews that came with Rambo were: Son of Rambow, Doomsday, Midnight Meat Train, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, and Witless Protection.

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