Thursday, February 16, 2012

RAMBO VIII: The Tears of Atlantis

Uncharacteristically, the film opens on a dusty road leading to a vineyard. We see THE GENERAL pull up in a jeep where he is met by a man we are to assume is the vineyard owner. THE GENERAL steps out as the vineyard owner beckons urgently to him.

"You say he doesn't remember anything?" THE GENERAL asks.

"Not even his own name. He's been here a couple months, but I called you as soon as I found his dogtags," the vineyard owner replies.

"And the motorcycle wreck he was in? It was pretty bad, I take it," THE GENERAL asks.

"You tell me," the vineyard owner says incredulously. He gestures toward his right, and the camera pans to reveal a smoldering crater several hundred yards wide rimmed with still-burning trees.

"Take me to him," THE GENERAL demands.

Through some brief exposition and a series of flashbacks set to The Eagles' "Desperado", we find out that RAMBO was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident while riding through Napa Valley. The kindly vineyard owner found him gravely injured and suffering from amnesia. He took RAMBO in, and put him to work as a grape stomper. RAMBO quickly proved to be the vineyard's elite grape stomper, with his stomping often producing already fermented and perfectly aged wine, sometimes in bottles.

We also learn that, though he's in a Napa Valley vineyard, RAMBO is only capable of speaking in French following his accident. He has fallen in love with the vineyard owner's coquettish daughter and spends his off-time whittling elaborate driftwood sculptures for her, which are often larger than the original piece of wood he started with. During one montage, we see him punch down a redwood tree and fold it into a tiny origami crane for her.

Following the flashback, THE GENERAL approaches RAMBO.

"Rambo, I need you to remember!"

"Je ne comprends pas," RAMBO replies.

"It's hopeless!" THE GENERAL cries.

Suddenly, the vineyard is attacked by a group of dune-buggy driving dystopian punk rockers a la The Road Warrior.

As the vineyard workers cower, THE GENERAL pleads with RAMBO.

"Rambo! We need you, now more than ever!"

"Mon dieu!" RAMBO yells, while shrinking in terror.

"Rambo! Try to remember!" THE GENERAL says.

Suddenly, RAMBO has donned his trademark red headband and is holding two M249 SAW rifles. He sprays the invaders with bullets until he runs out of ammo, then unholsters two 9MM Berettas, unloads them, then reaches offscreen to grab a crossbow which is somehow firing on fully automatic. When this runs out of ammo, he begins shooting lasers from his eyes. During the melee, there are numerous cut scenes of the exact same guard tower exploding while a man falls from it engulfed in flames.

After the carnage has subsided, there is a perfectly stacked pyramid of bodies much larger than the original invading force. THE GENERAL puts his hand on RAMBO's shoulder.

"Good work, Rambo. I see you've got your memory back. Are you ready to go?"

"Just a second," RAMBO answers.

We see a lone survivor pull himself from the pile of bodies and begin fleeing in horror. As he runs, RAMBO leaps into the air and jump kicks a passing pelican which flies through the man's torso, protruding from his chest.

"Now I'm ready," RAMBO says.

We cut to RAMBO driving a monster truck. His name and an airbrushed picture of a weeping Native American chief are emblazoned on the side. THE GENERAL rides shotgun.

"Rambo, you know I wouldn't ask you to come back if it weren't of the utmost importance," THE GENERAL says.

"I'm sorry General," RAMBO replies. "I rode that motorcycle across 12 continents, and the only thing it couldn't outrun ... was my past. I have to put those days behind me."

"Rambo, you don't understand what's at stake. Ninjas have kidnapped the President. You know I respect you, Rambo, but I must ask: Are you a bad enough dude to save the President?"

The camera slowly tightens in on RAMBO's eyes, and as it closes in we see fire, lightning, an American flag and a soaring eagle reflected in them.

In the next scene, RAMBO is standing atop the Eiffel Tower with a bungee cord attached to his ankles.

"The General said those ninjas had the President in their underground fortress beneath the streets of Paris," RAMBO says to no one in particular. "And there's only one way in."

RAMBO swan dives from the Eiffel Tower, and as he plummets to the earth the Tower melts from the top down into a river of molten metal. The camera follows RAMBO as he descends into a dense, Southeast Asian jungle, and uses a machete to cut the bungee cord from his feet.

The next 45 minutes is a shot-for-shot replay of RAMBO's previous killing sprees as he mercilessly slaughters militiamen (not ninjas). Finally, RAMBO makes his way to a hut and finds a man inside dressed as Uncle Sam.

"Mr. President, I'm here to rescue you," RAMBO says.

"Rambo! Thank God," the President says. "Oh, no! Look out!"

Suddenly, a ninja kicks RAMBO in the face, sending him reeling.

"Haha! Rambo, you fool!" the ninja cackles. "You may have defeated my minions, but you didn't count on me ... the head ... ninja."

RAMBO and the ninja engage in an elaborately choreographed fight, and each time one lands a blow animated onomotapoetic exclamations like "POW!", "ZAFF!", "SPLOINK!" and "WHARGARBLE!" appear.

Finally, the head ninja has RAMBO seemingly defeated. He stands over a bruised and bloodied RAMBO, defiantly laughing.

"Give it up, Rambo! You'll never win!"

"At least I'll go out ... with a bang," RAMBO says, while pulling the pin on a grenade attached to his belt.

The scene then cuts to what is obviously stock footage of an atomic bomb test. We cut back to RAMBO and The President standing in a blast crater, smoldering but alive.

"That was quick thinking, Rambo," The President says.

An anonymous young man approaches and shakes RAMBO's hand.

"Well, Rambo, you saved The President," he says. "Oh, and they finally deciphered the prophecy written on that ancient scroll you found last week. Turns out, you're the rightful descendant of King Arthur."

"All hail Emperor Rambo!" The President says as he and the young man kneel reverently, suddenly surrounded by hundreds of other kneeling worshipers dressed in Medieval garb.

RAMBO turns to the camera and winks. Roll credits.

Note: The music played over the end credits is the opening theme to "Growing Pains"

1 comment:

  1. Why hasn't Hollywood bowed to demand and made these films yet?