Rambo (2008) – 4K UHD Review

Rambo (also known as Rambo IV and John Rambo) is a 2008 American action thriller film that was directed and co-written by Sylvester Stallone, who also reprises his role as Vietnam War veteran John Rambo. A sequel to 1988’s Rambo III and the fourth installment in the Rambo franchise, it co-stars Julie Benz, Paul Schulze, Matthew Marsden, Graham McTavish, Rey Gallegos, Tim Kang, Jake La Botz, Maung Maung Khin, and Ken Howard. The film is dedicated to Richard Crenna, who played Colonel Sam Trautman in the previous films, and who passed away of heart failure in 2003. In the film, Rambo leads a group of mercenaries into Burma to rescue Christian missionaries who were kidnapped by a local infantry unit.

The rights to the Rambo franchise were sold to Miramax in 1997 after Carolco Pictures went bankrupt. Miramax intended to produce a fourth film but Stallone was unmotivated to reprise the role. The rights were then sold to Nu Image and Millennium Films in 2005, who green-lit the film prior to the release of Rocky Balboa. Filming began in January 2007 in Thailand, Mexico, and the United States and ended in May 2007.

Rambo was released in January 2005, 2008 to mixed reviews from critics. It grossed $42 million in the United States and Canada and $113.2 million worldwide against a production budget of $50 million. Plans for a fifth film were announced on and off again since 2008, with Stallone confirming in May 2018 for a fall 2019 release date for Rambo: Last Blood.

The Film Itself (4/5):

The 2008 addition to the Rambo franchise gives audiences a really decent attempt at trying to bring the character into more modern times.  The story as a whole is quite graphic, and offers a good amount of intensity and emotion that will definitely keep your attention as it progresses onward.  Performances of Stallone and supporting cast members were really well executed and really made this continuation one of the better ones that’s been released.

Picture Quality (4.5/5):

The 4K UHD release of Rambo is brought to us with a 2.40:1 presentation courtesy of Lionsgate Films.  The updated visual presentation gives audiences a considerably organic look into the story that’s being told, with much more of an attention to detail coming forward during the more insane moments.  And the moments of “nitty-gritty” as Stallone fights the good fight and the movement deeper into the jungle happens, really allows for a true appreciation for the work that went into making the movie.

Audio Quality (5/5):

Packaged with an English Dolby Atmos audio track, the 4K HD release of Rambo packs an over-the-top upgrade that’s considerably more effective than that of previous releases.  With the emphatic detail being placed on the action sequences, and the transitions between the channels being as smooth as you could imagine, this track really packs one hell of an immersive audio experience.  The dialogue is spoken cleanly, and the characters are able to be heard and understood without any issues whatsoever.

The Packaging (4/5):

The 4K UHD release of Rambo comes packaged in the standard two-disc case.  In that case, the 4K UHD and Blu-ray discs.  Both discs containing a piece of artwork that’s related to the movie, and both discs include the Extended Cut of the movie.  There is a digital copy redemption pamphlet as well as a slipcover that’s been made available in the initial pressing of the release that features the same artwork that’s been made available on the case.

Special Features (4/5):

The 4K UHD release of Rambo comes packaged with a lot of the same bonus material that was included with its previously released counterparts.  The content included offers a nicely put expansion on the storyline, while it offers a good look at some of the production work that went into making the movie.  Included with this release is:

  • Theatrical and Extended Cuts of the movie
  • Optional Feature Audio Commentary by Sylvester Stallone (Theatrical Cut Only)
  • It’s a Long Road: Resurrection of an Icon
  • A Score to Settle: The Music of Rambo
  • The Art of War: Completing Rambo
  • A Hero’s Welcome: Release and Reaction
  • Legacy of Despair
  • Rambo: To Hell and Back – Director’s Production Diary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer

Technical Specs:

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p)

HDR: Dolby Vision + HDR10

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Audio

English: Dolby Atmos

English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Subtitles

English, English SDH, Spanish

Runtime

1 Movie, 2 Cuts – 99 Minutes

Final Thoughts:

Overall, the 4K UHD upgrade of Rambo offers a significantly better visual and audio presentation over its previously released counterparts.  The video and audio quality breathe somewhat of a new life into the excitement that accompanies this film.  The special features were a nice touch as I personally didn’t view them on my earlier copies of this movie, so sitting down to them with this release were a good thing to do.  If you’re looking to add this release to your collection, I would without a doubt recommend picking it up.  Rambo is available on 4K UHD today.

Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.