Leave it to Harry to sort out what’s up with Sylvester Stallone and the future of Rambo.
Last week, I ran a short news item about “Rambo 5” moving forward, and I ran the description that the trades had about the film involving Rambo working the Mexican/American border. Seemed like a decent fit, considering the way Stallone has always bent the films to whatever the current geopolitical atmosphere is.
Turns out, that description was completely wrong.
For years now, Stallone has owned the rights to a book called “Hunter,” a novel by James Byron Huggins. The main character in that book essentially read like Rambo anyway, so learning that Stallone has adapted the book to literally be a new Rambo movie is not terribly surprising. It is a major shift for the franchise, though, taking it away from any grounding in reality and pushing it into the SF/action genre for the first time.
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In Harry’s article, he posted a voicemail where Stallone describes the nature of the villain in the film, and it sounds like this is a full-blown monster movie, something closer to “Predator” than the first few “Rambo” movies. If you take the hyper-violent aesthetic of the last “Rambo” and add in a huge scientifically engineered killing machine, this could well be the greatest exploitation film of 2010 we’re looking at, which means that, combined with “The Expendables,” Sly could very well rule the action genre next year.
It’s strange to consider that in 2010, Stallone is one of the few of the ’80s icons to still have the same career he had in his heyday. There was a time I would have bet that he was finished based on material like “Eye See You” and “Avenging Angelo.”
But like his most enduring icons, Stallone refuses to lay down and die no matter how many times Hollywood counts him out, and I really love the way he’s managed to redeem “Rocky Balboa,” revive “Rambo,” and in the process, make himself fun again. This material is different than what he’s done as a director before, but that may be exactly why it turns out to be a good fit.
We’ll see when “Rambo V: The Savage Hunt” is finally ready for release. Until then, I’m sure you’ll hear about the film first from Harry, since he and Sly appear to be dating.
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