Son of Rambow

2007 "Make Believe. Not War."
7| 1h36m| PG-13| en

Will is looking for an escape from his family when he encounters Lee, the school bully. Armed with a video camera and a copy of Rambo, Lee plans to make his own action-packed video epic.


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Solemplex To me, this movie is perfection.
Beystiman It's fun, it's light, [but] it has a hard time when its tries to get heavy.
Ava-Grace Willis Story: It's very simple but honestly that is fine.
Juana what a terribly boring film. I'm sorry but this is absolutely not deserving of best picture and will be forgotten quickly. Entertaining and engaging cinema? No. Nothing performances with flat faces and mistaking silence for subtlety.
Prismark10 Screen Test was a BBC children's quiz that included a segment where young viewers sent in home made films and the best one in each series received a prize. Only once did the producers think that the short film clip was so good that the young filmmaker could not possibly have made it and investigated the matter further. However they were satisfied and future Oscar winner Jan Pinkava received his prize and this moment is shown in Son of Rambow.In fact the pursuit to make a short film in order for it to be entered to be shown in Screen Test is central to the plot of this film as two mismatched school kids come together to make a film. Will Poulter is a rebel, a scoundrel and a disruptive influence at school who borrows his brother's camera and shoots his film on the side. Bill Milner is from a very religious family, not even allowed to watch television at school and hooks up with Poulter who persuades him to act as a stuntman in his movie and becomes enchanted with the movie process that fires his imagination especially as he watches a pirate version of First Blood.There is a side plot of visiting students from France who hook up with the young movie moguls which in turn causes conflict between the two lads who have become blood brothers.The film is inspired by young kids making home movies in the 1980s and not all of them were for Screen Test. The team behind Son of Rambow clearly remember some young kids (as do I) making their own version of Indiana Jones in their backyard which was shown in Barry Norman's film review show.It is feel good film not solely aimed at kids as it also bleeds nostalgia for the 1980s. However although the films reflect the fact that the film might be set in the early 1980s, the fashion, clothes and music indicate a more mid to late 1980s settings.
Casey Dillard It isn't often when I pick up a movie out of boredom that it makes me excited about the stories to tell in film, but this was simply wonderful. The love between the two boys was amazing. That Will was so lonely he was grateful for whatever attention was paid him, that Lee was so nourished by Will's adoration and to have someone simply notice him for something besides bad behavior made both of them flawed, lovable and deeply human to me.The comedy is a strong presence in the film, but it is full of heart, sincerity and tender moments. Both of the young boys in the leading roles are notable talents and the brother and exchange student both made for entertaining supporting characters.The payoff of the film is the movie being made within the movie and getting to watch it in its entirety is special and moving. I urge everyone who hasn't watched the film to give it a shot.
John_Truby When you're making an indie film, you're always looking for ways to save money. And if you're smart the first and foremost place to do that is in the script.One great strategy is to make a virtue of having no money - the old turn-lemons-into-lemonade trick. You know you can't compete with the big budget pictures on production values. So you come up with a story that relies on amateur video. This was the main technique used by sex, lies and videotape, generally considered the beginning of the modern indie film movement in the US. And it was used in The Blair Witch Project, one of the highest grossing indie films of all time. It's also used to great effect in Son of Rambow.Of course, this strategy won't mean a thing if your story is not well structured. Ironically, script is even more important in indie film-making than in big budget movies, because the script is usually all you have going for you. And it doesn't cost any more to write a good one. Son of Rambow is a love story between two young friends, and writer Garth Jennings came up with a structure that not only carries a lot of comedy, it packs a surprising amount of emotional impact.Like most good love stories, Son of Rambow is based on the fundamental opposition of the odd couple. Here a delinquent schemer and religious straight arrow team up to make a First Blood sequel where the son of Rambo tries to save his father. Matching the concept to the personal weakness and need of the leads, both boys are missing a father at home. The odd couple sets up the main opposition, but the similar need sets up the emotional payoff at the end.But the key structural decision the writer made in this film has to do with the desire line. The normal desire in a love story is for the characters to want each other. But using the normal structure for these characters would have meant no plot and a sticky sentimental mess. Instead, these boys want to make a movie that will win a short film contest. Notice that this external goal allows the writer to sneak up on the audience, to tell a love story where the payoff is a complete surprise.One of the big problems a lot of love stories have is lack of plot. That's also the case here. The desire, though effective at setting up the final punch, does flag a bit since it is essentially a stall. To increase the plot in the slow middle of the story, the writer adds outside opponents from each boy's family, along with the older kids at school. This character web is not altogether successful, especially the cool French boy that all the English kids worship. But it does complicate the making of the video enough to justify waiting so long to find out who wins the award.In the Love Story Class, I talk a lot about how to transcend the form, by twisting the beats so the story pays its dues but also gives the audience something new. Writer Garth Jennings has come up with a unique love story structure through which to express the joys of friendship and the power of the imagination.FOR MORE REVIEWS, please visit
marksloggett I'm a fan of British cinema in general, but wasn't able to view this until just the other night, then again the next day (I always watch films twice in case I missed something the first time). What a thoroughly delightful story it was! The plot has been sufficiently delineated by other reviewers, so I won't go there. The two protagonists, played by Bill Milner and Will Poulter, are endearing and believable, and the supporting cast equally good (they have several of the film's best lines). Poulter in particular is superb in his film debut, with his portrayal of Lee reminding me a lot of the title character in Neil Jordan's "The Butcher Boy".... a lonely kid who hides his hurt behind a facade of bravado. Milner's guileless, naive Will is excellent as well, with his transformation from pious soul to action-film star truly hilarious. All in all, very clever, subversively funny and with a number of genuinely touching moments. Would pair well with Danny Boyle's "Millions" for a double feature of family-friendly feel-good fun. Don't miss the DVD extras, with a making-of featurette and director Garth Jennings' own childhood action film. Highest recommendation.