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Look out for more coverage of
Rambo in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Rambo

THE STARS:
Sylvester Stallone • Julie Benz • Graham McTacish • Matthew Marsden
DIRECTOR: Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone THE CONCEPT:
Twenty years after the last film in the series, John Rambo (Stallone) is living in northern Thailand, where he runs a longboat on the Salween River. A group of human rights missionaries search him out to guide them up the river to Burma, where the longest-running civil war continues to rage. Against his better judgment, Rambo acquiesces, only to have to return a few weeks later with a band of mercenaries to save their lives.

U.S. RELEASE: January 25 2008, Nationwide • Rated: R

THE COMMENTS:

SLYVESTER STALLONE:
“Every actor would like to say that they’re Daniel Day Lewis and that they have this incredible pallet, but quite often you’re known for certain things. I said to myself, ‘Boy, I’d like to finish up the loose ends on Rambo,’ because the last one had Afghanistan in it and it didn’t work, and also the last Rocky didn’t work. So I wanted to focus on these two, and as fate would have it the world has gone through a transition in the past 20 years, where maybe 10 years ago this wouldn’t have even been acceptable. But right now with this inundation of violence, the constant bombardment of it on CNN every day, I think there’s a kind of frustration that’s building up and needs a release. It was just good timing.”

JULIE BENZ (Sarah):
Julie Benz“I really was excited to be a part of the project, I loved the script, I thought the social message behind the movie, with it taking place in Burma, and bringing awareness of what was going on in Burma, was extremely important. For me to be the only girl in an action movie was – alright, I’ll rise to the challenge.”

GRAHAM McTAVISH (Lewis):
Graham McTavish“When I first met Sylvester Stallone I came into audition expecting to just be in a casting suite, and I looked around and there were all these posters everywhere of Rambo and Rocky, and I thought, ‘My God, I’m in his office.’ And then he appeared, and he said, ‘How you doing?’ I looked up, and honestly I’m not impressed by famous people but that was pretty much an out-of-body experience, because I’d grown up with that man as those two extraordinary characters. In my mind, all I could think was, ‘It’s Rocky!’”

MATTHEW MARSEN ('Schoolboy'):
Matthew Marsen“I watched First Blood before I should have done, I was way too young. And Sly to me, or anybody of my generation, is an inspiration and someone that we’ve looked up to. There’s this history that comes with him that you have to respect, so I think from my point-of-view to be British and to be an actor, which I’m so grateful for, and to do something like this is living a dream.”

STALLONE:
“The toughest part of the movie was the night rescue scene because we had 28 days of nights. And because of the rain it washed up a lot of snakes, and the centipedes looked like hotdogs with legs, it was brutal. And the snake on my leg was real, we couldn’t afford CGI snakes!”

BENZ:
"I think the violence that you see in the movie is taken from what is actually going on in Burma, so a lot of it is important to see. I will be watching half the movie like this [she covers her eyes], even though I know it’s fake, I was there when we were shooting it. But it’s also a genre movie; it’s an action movie and the people who are going to go see it are going to go see it for the action.”

McTAVISH:
“Sly gives 100% and he expects you to give 100% back, and if you give 100% he’s great. He respects that. But God forbid you turn up on the set unprepared or tired, because he just won’t take it. I love that kind of working environment, and he was great to me, he was very collaborative and supportive.”

MARSDEN:
“Sly’s a 61-year-old mega-star that’s made a ton of money. He doesn’t have to do this, he was getting up at 5 o’clock in the morning, driving to the set rewriting scenes, he’d act, direct and produce the movie, lunchtime he’d go and watch rushes, then he’d come back to set and do the same again, and then he’d be writing the scenes on the way back to the hotel, every day. And he was the only one that was doing that. He’s an example to every single actor that is out there.”

STALLONE on whether there will be a sequel to this movie:
“I have a very bizarre idea, but it’s got to formulate a little bit. If I told you I was going to do one about a sixty-one year old boxer you’d go, ‘No,’ but if you find the right formula almost anything is feasible. I mean, Space Cowboys. Hello? But it worked.”

Director Stallone

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Rambo site
Images above © Lionsgate
Feature © 2008 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #692, February 2008 cover

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