First time in over a week I’ve been to the cinema (withdrawal symptoms kicking in big-time), I shot across town to catch Rambo this afternoon with Dazz.

It’s really a surprisingly good film. It’s more than just what it says on the tin, although you can’t go far wrong expecting what you would expect from a Rambo film. For the pacifists and haters of action-movies and film-violence, this puppy was never going to be for you, but for those looking for a bit of a no-brainer it’s not quite that either.

All the elements one would expect of a Rambo movie are there – huge death-toll, cheesy-but-great one-liners, Sly in a headband – but there’s more to it than that, not least the realisation from the scribes that people like Rambo just don’t do a lot of talking. The hero’s lack of dialogue is deftly handled, adding weight to the utterances he does come out with and handing a somewhat over-the-top scenario a level of realism you just don’t expect from this sort of film.

Add to that the sheer brutality of the violence and you realise this isn’t just another churned out Hollywood sequel, but something that’s actually had a lot of thought put into it by everyone involved, not least co-writer/director/star Stallone. He’s made the gunshots visceral and painful, the explosions truly horrific and the violence throughout turned up to a level so extreme it’s almost comical, until you stop to think that it’s more true to life than most Hollywood movies’ portrayals of death-by-gunshot or landmine.

It’s not the world’s greatest picture, it’s never going to contest any awards and it’s not the perfectly-weighted book-end to a saga that last year’s Rocky Balboa was, but it’s an extremely well-made, well-shot and well-put together little flick that entertains in all the ways it’s supposed to and offers up that little bit extra. An in it’s eschewing of the typical, OTT, CGI-heavy action of the more recent crop of action movies from the States, it may well serve as something of a reinvention of the action genre. We can only hope.

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