You know how fat kids always wear t-shirts at swimming pools to hide their bloated corpses? Picture that as a 90-minute action movie and you've got the new Rambo.
I'm not going to exert myself by getting all pissed off over a Stallone movie, I mean, talk about shooting fish in a barrel. Even though it's a sloppy, incredibly violent cartoon with a lightly racist white man's burden subtext - that's kind of what you expect, right? So let's take all that as a given and move on.
The big reason why I can't get behind this movie as a simple, mindless piece of entertainment - I mean, I like ridiculous, cartoonish violence as much as anybody, that's why I thought Kill Bill was one of the best movies of 2003 - is that there's a disconnect between the absurdity of seeing puffy, 60-year-old Stallone rip a man's throat out with his bare hands, and the pretense of seriousness that the movie adopts from its opening montage of Burmese repression and war crimes. If the movie only knew that it's a dopey cartoon I could enjoy it; since it seems to really, seriously think that it's taking a brave stance on the political situation in Burma (Myanmar, whatever) and not realize that it's just using said situation as a pretext for exploitation, it's hard not to be annoyed.
A few other odds and ends - having never seen the previous Rambo movies of the '80s, were they always infested with Christianity as a plot motivator? This time Rambo has to rescue a bunch of relief workers but it appears Stallone didn't think it was enough that they were treating the injured and the sick, they have to be missionaries too. And likewise, isn't the evil Burmese general evil enough without being tagged as gay in one scene?