Rambo: Coming to Bangkok (and Burma)

Hide the women and children.

Bangkok bad guys: run for the hills.

Rambo is coming to the Land of Smiles.

Filming for “Rambo IV” starts October 1st in Bangkok, baby. Who will (a now nearly geriatric) Sly Stallone be hunting down and killing like the vile pigs they are? None other than the Burmese military junta! This EW story is full of gems. Stallone, in making this new film, had to figure out who to slaughter (apparently an idea hatched in 2002, in which Sly would head to Afghanistan to take out Osama Bin Laden was scuttled):

‘You know, it’s hard,” says the 60-year-old star. ”Politics have changed so much. Who do we fight? The Finns? You can’t do that. The Dutch? That’s not gonna work. Wooden shoes are not gonna look cool.’

Sly Stallone: stand up comedian! He’ll be here all week, folks. Be sure to tip your waitresses.

Stallone may be joking, but finding Rambo a fresh foe was actually a serious problem for the Nu Image/ Millennium Films production. After ruling out the Mideast, Africa, and Korea, the actor finally hit on a solution. ”I called Soldier of Fortune magazine and said, ‘What is the most critical man-doing-inhumanity-to-man situation right now in the world? Where is it?”’ The answer was Burma.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I’m jonesing for information on international human rights crises, my resource of choice is Soldier of Fotune magazine. Those pantywaists at Amesty International? Lilly-livered pinko eggheads, the whole lot!

So, the script that emerged — a ”first draft” Stallone has written with Art Monterastelli (The Hunted) — finds Rambo living a monastic lifestyle in Bangkok and salvaging old PT boats and tanks for scrap metal. (”It’s like he’s stripping himself down,” says the actor, pensively. ”That old piece of military equipment.”) When a group of volunteers bringing supplies into Burma disappears, a relative of one of the missing missionaries begs Rambo to find them. He heads off with a team of young guns, a plot point required by the financiers, who wanted to hedge against Rambo’s possible mono-generational appeal.

When I walk through the streets of Bangkok, I am struck by two things: 1) the countless retired Green Berets I see living monastic lifestyles, and 2) the preponderance of old PT boats and tanks lying around — you can’t swing a dead cat on Sukhumvit road without hitting discarded military hardware!

I cannot wait to see this movie.


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