In 1982, two mismatched grade school boys bond when they work together to create their own version of a Rambo movie. Armed with a video camera, a bootleg copy of First Blood, an abundance of creativity and the fearlessness that comes from being a kid, these two grade school classmates take to the forest and the junkyard to create Son of Rambow.
For Will Proudfoot—raised as a member of a devout religious order and sheltered from TV and movies—seeing First Blood is a transforming experience, as is his friendship with Lee Carter, an aspiring filmmaker on the brink of juvenile delinquency. Will skips out on prayer meetings to leap from great heights and launch himself stuntman-like in homespun action sequences. Like Be Kind Rewind, much of the humor in Rambow stems from the hilarious hijinks, passion, and ingenuity these two pals show for their craft. As word gets out about what they’re doing and classmates join the cast and crew, the production begins to take on a life of its own, threatening Will and Lee’s friendship.
The two young leads are terrific together, good news since they carry the film. The script is quirky and clever and never cloying. And while the second half of the film isn’t as strong as the first, it ends strongly, with an appropriately tender resolution.
I give it 4 out of 5 VHS videotapes.