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Son of Rambow [DVD]

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By Clint Morris

Sweet, Charming, Funny and (let’s be honest) original aren’t words usually associated with Rambo – which is perhaps why this one’s actually called Rambo’w’? – but even John J himself, who can’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 – which, again, is perhaps the reason they added a ‘W’ to the end of ‘Rambo’ (though it’s probably more go to do with copyright) – is actually a small family dramedy about two kids who don’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 – and a small utilitarian movie-making business.

With Will in the lead, Son of Rambow, will see the fictional hero’s unknown son take on flying dogs (there’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), ninja’s… and anything else they can put together at a moment’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 isn’t supposed to watch Television, let alone movies (especially not “First Blood”!), it’s a big no-no that he’s spending his time working on the film with his new friend. It ultimately leads to punishment – not necessarily for him, but his family.

And the experience changes Lee’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 it’s all because of Rambo – er, Rambow.

Made for, I’m guessing, a smidgen of what it’d cost to have made even the first Rambo, director Writer/Garth Jennings’ ‘’Son of Rambow’’ is further verification that all you really need to crack the film business – besides a good agent – is a “good idea”. The idea here is original – though its execution may not be as fresh; a lot of the film plays fairly predictable – and it’s padded with enough real human emotion, and genuinely likeable, fleshy, characters, to make it a winner.

Extras

A small offering of extras – but all good. There’s commentary from the director, the director’s short film, and a making-of.

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About Caffeinated Clint

The writer/publicist/producer who wears the editor hat on Moviehole. Favorite films include "Say Anything...", "The Hunt for Red October", "Jerry Maguire", "Almost Famous", "Die Hard", "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", "Young Guns", "American Psycho", "Back to the Future" and the "Star Wars" series.
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