If you're male and your teenage years arrived in the mid 1980s, certain films - or even their titles - can kickstart the nostalgia and spin you back to a time of bad haircuts, even worse clothes and a fascination with weaponry which, in retrospect, is even more disturbing than the other two.

If this is you, you know that you've seen more action films than most people could see in two lifetimes, you know you can quote more bad dialogue than any fan of weepies and you know exactly where you were and how many facial hairs you had when you first heard the term 'compound bow' or 'survival knife'.

If this is you, you want to see this film. Twenty-two years ago or thereabouts you saw 'Rambo: First Blood Part Two' on video and now you're hoping that this film delivers in a way that the 1988 Taleban-championing sequel didn't. Well, now you're 14 again and the feeling is still the same: I shouldn't really be watching this.

Now domicile in Northern Thailand - and as short of a good wardrobe or a grey hair as ever - Rambo ekes out a living as a humble boatman-come-snake-catcher. Conversation and human dynamics still aren't his strong points - all he wants to do is go up and down the river and work out his aggressions banging metal in his foundry.

So when a bunch of US missionaries he's never met before suddenly arrive in his hovel with medical supplies for the Burmese up the river, a personal crisis lies ahead. But this being a 91-minute film he'll get over it within five.

After taking the hopelessly naïve, beige combat-wearing group to their drop-off point - and doing his bit to keep the pirate population down along the way - Rambo arrives back at his shed and has another personal crisis: turns out the missionaries have gone missing. He resolves this one in under a minute and agrees to bring a group of mercenaries to find them. But before that he goes into the foundry and makes - yes, makes! - a knife that could carve up the monster from 'Cloverfield'.

If you think the soliloquy "Y'know what you are, what you're made of. War is in your blood. When you're pushed, killing's as easy as breathing" is some of the best cheddar dialogue in years, and offers up more comedy than 'Knocked Up' and 'Superbad' combined, you haven't heard anything yet - this film has lines to wow any significant other, colleague or potential employer.

Then the talking stops. And whatever you've heard about the body count in 'Rambo' has been played down: the action here is so recklessly and relentlessly bonkers that you find yourself saying "I can't believe I just saw that" on more than 12 occasions. Far more effective than most horrors, 'Rambo' isn't for the squeamish, but you get the feeling Stallone knows his constituency on that score anyway.

While there is an attempt to show the suffering of the people in Burma, given that Stallone could've written the script in block capitals on Rambo's headband, this won't be described by anyone as an "important" film. And along with the huge question marks over plot, pacing, character, logic etc etc etc, there's also one over whether Stallone needed to show quite so much. The nastiness doesn't sit well with the comic book thrills, and you'll think about it afterwards. But then, growing up is hard to do.

Harry Guerin