This is confusing, because the the very bloody and awesome preview suggests Stallone, who wrote and directed, has a big hit on his and the studio's hands. Rambo's return is welcome, especially now, to come in and save the day (with a little bit of angst).
My theory is that the movie would be facing stiff competition in either the 2007 holiday or 2008 spring/summer seasons. I think the studio is hoping this release date will work out all right, and although there have been some recent January-release hits (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is the most recent example that comes to mind), January is generally littered mainly with the carcasses of big bombs (Elektra, Relic, and Deep Rising to name just three out of what is a much larger list).
If they pushed the release date for
John Rambo Rambo back to late February or even some time in March or April, the movie could become a box office hit. I'd hate to see the film open in January and die in the dead of winter when everyone would rather be watching TV (the second half of the season begins then, with 24 and Lost returning with brand new seasons). Heck, Rocky Balboa was set to open in February 2007, but a bump to December 2006 gave the film a big box office and critical jolt! With Live Free or Die Hard having done so well this summer, the kick-butt action films from the 1980s have returned, so give John Rambo its due!
The story finds Rambo living a quiet live in Thailand many years after we've last seen him, along a river dividing two countries (Thailand and Burma). He's called into action when some Christian missionaries are taken captive, tortured and killed by soldiers in a Burmese village.
The irony is that right now we have some real-life parallels here: When Stallone and his crew returned to Thailand for some re-shoots, they were in the area around the time of the Buddhist Monk massacre and mass-arrests. The Monks' pro-democracy protests were over the rise of fuel prices, so the Burmese (also known as Myanmar) military began attacking and arresting the monks and others.
Stallone told AP:
"I witnessed the aftermath - survivors with legs cut off and all kinds of land mine injuries, maggot-infested wounds and ears cut off. We saw many elephants with blown off legs. We hear about Vietnam and Cambodia and this was more horrific."
Looks like we need Rambo more than ever.
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