Twitter Plot Summary: Two boys attempt to make a film inspired by First Blood, whilst dealing with their own family issues.
Five Point Summary:
1. Not allowed to watch films? For shame!
2. Low budget Rambo is always fun.
3. The French kid gets involved.
4. Obligatory strife.
5. The film is shown!
Sometimes it’s the simple ideas that work the best. That certainly applies to Son of Rambow which sees two boys, one a rule breaker, the other raised in a strict religious home but wanting to escape, joining forces to make a film together. The project begins as an action film inspired by First Blood (the original Rambo movie), but soon morphs into something bigger than the sum of its parts. A bit like First Blood Part 2 then. It’s a resolutely low budget feature they’re making, of course, but before long the cast and crew of their little two man production has expanded to the point where even the cool French exchange student wants in. Set in the 1980s, it’s a perfect excuse to break out all of the dodgy hairstyles and music of choice from the era, all while Will Proudfoot and Lee Carter are trying to recreate the violence of the Rambo movies on a shoestring budget.
Will Poulter shows that, even from an early age, he is an incredibly talented actor, and he’s got better as time has gone on. He is so good in fact that there never is an urge to punch him in the face for being an annoying child actor. The same can also be said of Bill Milner, whose youthful exuberance is a delight. This even applies to the remaining child actors, of whom there are many. None make you want to rip out their jugulars in a painful homage to John Rambo, which is a plus point. The adult cast are equally as impressive and you feel as though they had to up their game somewhat in order to match up with the child actor performances. Jessica Hynes is spot on as Will’s religious mother, whilst Adam Buxton arrives as comic relief as a science teacher who is involved in an incident with a pair of scissors and a dog-shaped charity donation box.
The film’s themes – family, brotherhood, abandonment, loneliness and so on – are tied together nicely by the end. They’re weaved throughout the script amongst the youthful hijinx and pack a punch that puts it into similar emotional territory to The Goonies. Both of the boys, and to an extent everybody else who gets involved in their film, form a bond where they previously had none. Lee Carter (who cannot be known simply as Lee – watch the film and you’ll understand) is a tearaway at school because of his absent parents, yet his actions could be described as both an attempt at seeking attention and rebelling at the system for being overly restrictive. The same applies to his new friend Will Proudfoot, whose creative desires are impeded by his strict religious upbringing, whereby he is not allowed to watch films or television, and
Director Garth Jennings has crafted a thoroughly enjoyable story that works for everybody despite the adult-rated First Blood that much of Lee and Will’s production draws inspiration from. It revels in the low budget creativity that inspires not only Will and Lee Carter but the rest of their schoolmates, and is a charming little film that packs a punch.