Rambo: Extended Cut (2008) – Review

3 Stars

I was so impressed with Rambo 4 upon my initial viewing that I had great expectations for this extended edition. Unfortunately I’m sorry to report that this version is a slower developing, less impactful and overall duller variation. I can understand the idea behind going back and tweaking the film, however the extra time devoted to deepening character development and additional dialogue do nothing for the story or pace of the film.

One of the strongest assets to the theatrical cut is that it’s a taunt 90 minutes that tears across the screen until it arrives at its blood-soaked conclusion. This differing version has a new running time that is ten minutes longer, but action fans looking for a harsher cut will surely be disappointed. The violent sequences have been left untouched; it’s the set up and additional plot developments that chew up those precious extra minutes.

Stallone, the director, has also decided to rearrange the opening sequence and switch the order of scenes throughout. I may be alone in my opinion, yet I felt that the original version was a nearly perfect action flick, every scene building in tension and conflict. This extended cut is technically the same film but its essence and a lot of the beautiful power of the picture has been lost in the shuffle. They should show the two versions side by side in film courses as an example of how editing and rhythm can affect story and content. Do yourself a favor and seek out the 4 star original release which made my top 10 best action flicks list.

Director: Sylvester Stallone
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Matthew Marsden

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