A production trailer for John Rambo, Sylvester Stallone’s long-awaited fourth mission as the monosyllabic ex-Green Beret , has been making the blog rounds. He may not draw first blood, but starting at roughly 2 minutes in, he makes up for it. He decapitates one guy; blows the head off another; claws the throat of a third. (Watch it now, if you dare; it’s almost certain that the eventual MPAA-approved trailer won’t be this graphic.) Has Rambo gotten even harder, or have I just gotten soft?
The plot appears to be the same as what Stallone described to EW last summer: Rambo reluctantly gets his hands dirty in Burma to rescue missing missionaries (a plot he constructed after calling Soldier of Fortune magazine and asking, “What is the most critical man-doing-inhumanity-to-man situation right now in the world? Where is it?”). It costars Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Julie Benz, Crossing Jordan’s Ken Howard, and Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid’s Matthew Marsden. The film was shot earlier this year in Thailand and will allegedly hit theaters in 2008.
I need to see more footage to decide whether anyone other than me, my father, and Joey Lawrence — a Rambo fan, he told me so! — will want/need to see the film. Right now, I’m torn over more than the graphic violence: Do I want back the somber predator Rambo of First Blood, or am I hoping for the still-monosyllabic-but-occassionally-smartass decimator from Rambo III? Judging from the trailer, I don’t see Stallone giving me the latter.