Aug 302019

Rambo is an excellent entry into the vaunted franchise and a much needed boost after the disappointing third film. Stallone was in top form and still was believable that he could still kick ass.



(a.k.a. John Rambo)

Genre(s): Action, War
Lionsgate | Unrated/R – 91 min. / 99 min. – $22.99 | September 3, 2019

Date Published: 08/30/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Sylvester Stallone
Writer(s): David Morrell (character); Art Monterastelli and Sylvester Stallone (written by)
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Matthew Marsden, Graham McTavish

Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: English (Dolby Atmos)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.40
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C

Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures were taken from the Blu-ray disc and do not represent the 4K Ultra HD transfer.

THE MOVIE — 4.25/5

Plot Synopsis: Having long-since abandoned his life as a lethal soldier, John Rambo (SYLVESTER STALLONE) lives a solitary life near the Thai border. Two weeks after guiding a missionary (JULIE BENZ) and her comrades into Burma, he gets an urgent call for help. The missionaries have not returned and although he is reluctant to embrace violence again, Rambo sets out to rescue the captives from the Burmese army and its tyrannical leader.

Quick Hit Review: Rambo (a.k.a. John Rambo) is the fourth entry into the series, one which for one reason or another never got a chance to watch. The film is a great on its own right but a step up for Rambo III, which I found to be underwhelming, especially in terms of the action. The story here is rather basic and character development pretty much kept to a minimum outside of an awkwardly placed set of flashbacks, but the action and violence is upped a notch with Rambo once again thrown into a world he once left behind, taking up bow, arrows and guns taking out the nefarious, vicious and psychotic.

Aside from the clearly terrible CGI blood splatter, still don’t understand, even by 2008 standards, visual effects artists can’t get that right, the action sequences are quick paced and the film wastes no time with subplots that don’t add anything. For his part Sylvester Stallone is in top form, as he was in another franchise revival, Rocky Balboa, looking believable, even at a man in his 60s (at the time), able to take out entire military units with relative ease. Julie Benz serves well as the character whom Rambo makes a connection with, nothing to her but she does well with what she was given.

Stallone also stepped into the director’s chair this go around and mounts a thrilling film with some well done action sequences with some rough-and-tumble fighting that at times is brutal (and in scenes where it looks actual blood packets were used). I have to say, I damn near loved Rambo and is easily the second best of the series, after the original which was a great psychological drama.



This release comes with a glossy slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. The majority of the features are on the 4K disc, ported over from the Blu-ray release of the theatrical version.

Audio Commentary – Co-Writer/Director/Actor Sylvester Stallone. Available only on the theatrical version, Stallone makes for a great commentator, breaking down every element of making the movie 20 years since the last one.

It’s a Long Road: Resurrection of an Icon (19:43) looks at the return of Rambo and what it took to bring Stallone back to his iconic role and coming up with the story. Interesting enough, the initial idea was it taking place in Mexico… which is now part of the plot for the upcoming Rambo: Last Blood.

A Score to Settle: The Music of Rambo (6:31) – Composer Brian Tyler explains his approach to scoring the movie, channeling Jerry Goldsmith’s work on First Blood.

The Art of War: Complete Rambo (10:02) is on the editing and sound of the movie.

The Weaponry of Rambo (14:23) breaks down the variety of weapons used.

A Hero’s Welcome: Release and Reaction (9:30) is on the reception of the film upon its release.

Legacy of Despair: The Real Struggle in Burma (10:41) – This is a featurette on the torments that are really going on in Burma which Stallone hoped to highlight.

Rambo: To Hell and Back (1:23:32) is a production diary from Stallone where we get more behind-the-scenes footage. Rather expansive and very well worth watching on the amount of work they had to do in a short amount of time.

Deleted Scenes (13:45) – There are a few scenes that were cut out for various reasons, mostly I assume for pacing.

Theatrical Trailer (2:27)


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Lionsgate releases Rambo onto 4K Ultra HD where its presented in its original theatrical 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 2160p high-definition transfer. All in all, although I can’t say it’s the best looking transfer to come from this format, it still does look quite good, detail is relatively sharp and colors, although the subject matter is certainly bleak, do have some shining moments, and black levels are stark but not crushed.

AUDIO – 5.0/5

Being a fair portion of the film has action scenes, especially the third act, this new Dolby Atmos track really gets a nice workout with each shot of a gun and bullets striking has a fine oomph to them, not to mention a few explosions that shows off the impact, with incredible depth.


OVERALL – 4.25/5

Overall, Rambo is an excellent entry into the vaunted franchise and a much needed boost after the disappointing third film. Stallone was in top form and still was believable that he could still kick ass; the action scenes, however, are what makes this a must-see. The 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray combo pack includes excellent video/audio transfers and a good selection of previously released bonus material.




The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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