By Clint Morris
Sweet, Charming, Funny and (letâ€™s be honest) original arenâ€™t words usually associated with Rambo â€“ which is perhaps why this oneâ€™s actually called Ramboâ€™wâ€™? â€“ but even John J himself, who canâ€™t shed a tear even why removing wedged-in bullets from his abdomen, will be hard pressed keeping his tears ducts stationary with this cute new British pic.
What sounds like a cheap direct-to-video sequel to the Rambo movies â€“ which, again, is perhaps the reason they added a â€˜Wâ€™ to the end of â€˜Ramboâ€™ (though itâ€™s probably more go to do with copyright) â€“ is actually a small family dramedy about two kids who donâ€™t so much live like Rambo, as they do live through him.
Set on a long English summer in the early 80’s, Rambow tells the tale of two kids from different side of the tracks, Will (Bill Milner), the eldest son of a fatherless Plymouth Brethren family, and Lee Carter (Will Poulter), a school nuisance and local trouble-maker, who form an unlikely friendship â€“ and a small utilitarian movie-making business.
With Will in the lead, Son of Rambow, will see the fictional heroâ€™s unknown son take on flying dogs (thereâ€™s an amusing scene where the dog, a plastic Guide Dog statue with a kite tied to it, comes crashing through the window of a school-room, occupied by a teacher who just happens to be trimming his nose hairs at the time), ninjaâ€™sâ€¦ and anything else they can put together at a momentâ€™s notice On his mission, Rambow Jr will find himself assisted by a fellow strongman, played by a Pied Piper-esque French exchange student named Didier Revol (who, for some god unknown reason, all the English girls are crazy about).
Since Will isnâ€™t supposed to watch Television, let alone movies (especially not â€œFirst Bloodâ€!), itâ€™s a big no-no that heâ€™s spending his time working on the film with his new friend. It ultimately leads to punishment â€“ not necessarily for him, but his family.
And the experience changes Leeâ€™s life forever, too. He not only finds a friend he can count on, but rediscovers his relationship with his brother Lawrence (Ed Westwick) in the meantime.
And itâ€™s all because of Rambo â€“ er, Rambow.
Made for, Iâ€™m guessing, a smidgen of what itâ€™d cost to have made even the first Rambo, director Writer/Garth Jenningsâ€™ â€˜â€™Son of Rambowâ€™â€™ is further verification that all you really need to crack the film business â€“ besides a good agent â€“ is a â€œgood ideaâ€. The idea here is original â€“ though its execution may not be as fresh; a lot of the film plays fairly predictable â€“ and itâ€™s padded with enough real human emotion, and genuinely likeable, fleshy, characters, to make it a winner.
A small offering of extras – but all good. There’s commentary from the director, the director’s short film, and a making-of.