I happen to think Rambo: First Blood II is one of the finest action movies ever made, but I was never much of a fan of First Blood and no one was much of a fan of Rambo III, so I've been sort of on-the-fence about whether I'm interested in Rambo IV -- officially known as John Rambo, even though I imagine even Rambo's mother called him simply Rambo. I guess the title Rocky Balboa tested well or something? But anyway, I'm a little more encouraged about the whole thing today after seeing the Cannes footage everyone has been talking about. It's basically a raw, R-rated trailer, and unexpectedly showcases a number of blood-drenched kills. Stallone's mumbling mercenary breaks out the old bow and arrow, pulls out a guy's throat like Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse, and even performs one outright beheading!
Stallone is obviously sending out a clear message here -- this isn't going to be some PG-13 mess about Rambo getting all spiritual over in Burma or something. This is the f**cked-up Vietnam vet, off his meds again and doing what he does best -- cutting down an entire army by himself. Apparently Burma didn't get the message after he single-handedly won the Vietnam War, so now they're gonna pay. I think my favorite part of the footage is the beginning, when some civilian approaches Rambo in his hovel where he's doing menial labor, and says he's going to Burma to try to change things for the better. "You bringing weapons?" Rambo asks. Nope. "Then you ain't changing nothin." Ouch.John Rambo is, of course, co-written and directed by Stallone himself, and is currently scheduled for a big summer 2008 release.