February 1, 2008 / 11:29 AM / 10 years ago

Myanmar junta takes aim at latest Rambo movie

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Police in Myanmar have given DVD hawkers strict orders not to stock the new Rambo movie, which features the Vietnam War veteran taking on the former Burma’s ruling military junta, a Yangon resident told Reuters on Friday.

Despite the prohibition, pirated copies of the movie are widely available on the streets of the former capital, where it is fast becoming a talking point among a population eager to shake off 45 years of military rule.

“People are going crazy with the quote ‘Live for nothing, die for something’,” one resident said, referring to the tagline of the fourth Rambo installment, which opened in the United States this week.

Even though it received lukewarm reviews, it is likely to be a sure-fire hit with opponents of the junta, with some even hoping it could spur a change of regime in the impoverished southeast Asian nation.

“This movie could fuel the sentiment of Myanmar people to invite American troops to help save them from the junta,” one Yangon resident told Reuters by e-mail.

In the movie, John Rambo, played by Hollywood superstar Sylvester Stallone, comes out of retirement in Bangkok to save a group of Christian missionaries taken captive by troops in the jungles of eastern Myanmar.

As with previous Rambo films, it is short on plot and long on blood and guts -- although viewers appear to think it is all relative.

“Rambo acted very cruelly, but his cruelty is nothing compared to that of the military junta,” a Myanmar student in Thailand, who did not wish to be named, told Reuters.

Reporting by Bangkok newsroom; Writing by Ed Cropley; Editing by Michael Battye

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