Son of Rambow is one of those rare films that is sweet, but not saccharine, and sophisticated, but not patronizing. It reminds me of Danny Boyle's under-appreciated Millions: a story that is told selflessly through the eyes of a boy where cynicism and irony have no place. Son of Rambow is set to open at one of the Landmark Theaters in a couple weeks, so this is hardly a film that is going to disappear. Quite the opposite, Son of Rambow has the potential to be an arthouse hit.
Will is a boy who has lead a sheltered life. His family is a member of the Brethren which forbids television and music and all that popular culture mumbo jumbo. Nonetheless, Will's creativity is scrawled throughout his bible with drawings and doodles that would make Henry Darger jealous. Lee is the school bully and ne'er do well who can easily con Will into doing just about anything. Will's innocence turns out to be a good match with Lee's precociousness. After Will inadvertently sees part of Rambo: First Blood, a spark is lit in his imagination and he and Lee embark on shooting their own version of Rambo.
If you have read rave reviews about this film, they do not lie. The two young leads are just amazing, especially Bill Milner who plays Will. His character is just so full of heart and joy it is infectious. Watching this skinny little kid become his version of Rambo is priceless. Even the most jaded movie-goer will be smiling. For once, "fun for the whole family" is not just bullshit.