It was only a matter of time before more stories about the planned filming of Rambo IV: In The Serpent’s Eye started seeping out. This action flick is slated to be “shot” in a Thai national park in the far north over the coming dry season. The global media just gorges on this kind of story and, well, why not?

According to a Sydney Morning Herald report headlined “No violence please, we’re Thais“, director of the Thailand Film Office, Wanasiri Morakul, has said:

We have warned them that any violence has to be reasonable because we care about young people.

In another report, this time by the Associated Press via WTOP, Wanasiri continues:

Some scenes might be a little bit violent, so we asked them not to make it too violent because if we say that the ethnic minorities are violent, it might be inappropriate.

According to the reports, in this fourth installment of the Rambo franchise the title character has retired to Bangkok. Rather than haunting the bars, or running a gem racket, Rambo is, according to the plot leaks, working as a military boat repairer in the “City of Angels”. I guess they needed some reasonable justification for putting him in Thailand. In so many ways, though, being a boat repairer is pretty far-fetched. Why couldn’t they play it safe? Couldn’t they make him a sports instructor at ISB? An English teacher at ECC? Or a restaurant owner down Sukhumwit way? Those are the sorts of things that the average retired American soldier ends up doing in Thailand.

But I digress, Rambo isn’t average. It shouldn’t need repeating – we all accept that realism isn’t the strong point of this remarkable cinematic franchise.

Being retired in Bangkok, Rambo is conveniently placed to leap in to action against bad guys on the Burmese border. Speaking of Rambo’s retirement, Wanasiri also says:

I think it will help boost the country’s image as a relaxing and nice place to stay.

Nice for the Thais, I suppose. And nice that the country is making an easy $5 million dollars from the newest Rambo enterprise.

But what about the border, and the rebels, and the kidnapped missionaries? There would be no film in Thailand if the Thai-Burma border wasn’t so badly mismanaged. Until I hear otherwise, I think we need to hope, based on what has been reported, that the new Rambo plot may just get a few unlikely people interested in learning more about Burma and its civil wars.

Absurd as it all seems, Rambo’s war on the SPDC might just “boost” Thailand’s “image as a relaxing and nice place to stay”. Stranger things have happened.

Stay tuned for more updates as Rambo’s mission against the bad guys starts to take shape.