Sly Stallone's second most durable macho man returns in an installment that's smaller in scope and focus but way larger in raw carnage. It's been 20 years since Stallone last flexed his pecs as the indestructible Cold War super-warrior John Rambo, the ultimate overpuffed icon of Reagan-era jingoism. The former 'Nam snake-eater is now using his commando skills as a snake wrangler, supplying cobras to underground Thai gambling dens. Somehow he is reluctantly recruited to escort a group of Christian relief workers up river into Burma to bring aid and comfort to the victims of a brutal civil war. Soon enough our Pollyanna Americans, led by gentle-voiced blond angel of mercy Sarah (Dexter's Julie Benz), are trapped knee-deep in the atrocities, forcing Rambo to pick up his machete and slap on a bandanna tight enough to stop the remaining blood flow to his brain. Taken as an action picture, Rambo is fairly effective, the action fast and wicked, even somewhat believable, but as political statement, the movie's a murky slog into uncomfortable waters. The problem is that we're asked to deplore violence, yet turn around and cheer for every arrow Rambo shoots through some dude's face, and clap like hell as bullets literally rip baddies into tiny pieces. We are asked to root for, yet scoff at, the holy fools who attempt to make the world better because, deep down, the movie purports that the only way to bring peace is by kicking ass in a major way.