From Be Kind Rewind to Super 8, there have been a few movies about amateur filmmaking in recent years. But there’s nothing amateur about Son of Rambow, the 2007 comedy written and directed by Garth Jennings.
In the early 1980s, two English kids (Bill Milner and Will Poulter) make their own version of First Blood for a short film competition. The results are funny, touching and wonderfully creative, with great performances from the two boys. They’re ably assisted by Jessica Hynes, Paul Ritter and Adam Buxton (which, as a huge fan of Dr Buckles, is a joy to see).
Jennings’ background in music videos comes vividly into focus in some brilliantly inventive and lively sequences, which bring to life childhood imagination. The film is certainly sentimental but it feels genuine, with a lovingly hand-crafted quality.
Son of Rambow is a charming and nostalgic ode to friendship, imagination and cinema. Sylvester Stallone himself called it “heartwarming” and “brilliant filmmaking”. He’s made his share of mistakes (Grudge Match), but that time Sly hit the bullseye.