All four movies from the popular action franchise starring Sylvester Stallone. In 'First Blood' (1982), disturbed Vietnam veteran John Rambo (Stallone) spends his days wandering from town to town, searching out his old service colleagues. When he resists a local sheriff's attempts to make him leave town, he is arrested for vagrancy. While in prison Rambo is forced to endure the abuse of a sadistic deputy, until he escapes and takes to the woods, relying on his old army skills to survive. In 'Rambo - First Blood Part II' (1985), Rambo is serving time in a federal prison when his old commander, Colonel Trautman (Richard Crenna), arranges his release. A group of American soldiers are still being held as prisoners of war in Vietnam, and Trautman wants Rambo to return to the killing fields on a daring rescue mission. In 'Rambo 3' (1988), Rambo has entered a Buddhist monastery in a bid to find inner peace. However, when his friend and mentor Colonel Trautman is captured in war-torn Afghanistan, Rambo sets out to save him. Finally, in 'Rambo' (2008), since helping the mujahedeen rid Afghanistan of the Russians, John Rambo has been living a quiet life in northern Thailand, trapping poisonous snakes to sell to local entertainers. But when a group of human rights missionaries pleads with him to ferry them upstream to Burma to re-supply the oppressed Karen tribe, Rambo reluctantly agrees. A few weeks later, however, word filters through that the missionaries have been taken hostage by the Burmese military, who are using them as pawns in their local war. Knowing the hostages have no other hope of rescue, Rambo sets out into the heart of the jungle on a one-man mission to hell and back.
Considering it's a saga that started in 1982 with the story of a Vietnam War vet caught in the wrong place at the wrong time that had by 2007 turned into a full-on action spectacular, its fair to say that the Rambo: Ultimate Blu-ray Collection gives you plenty of bang for your buck. As one of Sylvester Stallones career-defining roles, John Rambo has become a modern day action cinema icon. Yet its also been the platform for some very good films.
The first, Rambo: First Blood is the best, with Rambos fight in the mountains against corrupt police officers. Morally ambiguous yet thoughtful, its a very strong action flick, and Richard Crenna is, as usual, worth the asking price alone.
The first of the sequels, Rambo: First Blood Part II, also keeps the momentum up. This is the one where Rambo gets sent off to rescue prisoners of war, and the body count really begins to ramp up. That said, by the time we got to Rambo III, it was all guns blazing-- by then any modicum of reality had disappeared. And the recent fourth outing, Rambo, very much maintains that spirit, with the bullets and bodies mounting up in double time.
Beautifully presented in high definition, what the Rambo: Blu-ray Ultimate Collection offers is a defining collection of action cinema, and a bringing together of a franchise of films that, despite their flaws, certainly know how to entertain you. The fact that theyve never looked better just sweetens the deal. --Jon Foster