The Rambo movies may be continuing without the actor who launched them. Sylvester Stallone recently announced his retirement from the John Rambo character. However, there has been some discussion that following the success of 2008’s ‘Rambo’, that the studio may continue the Rambo movie franchise without him. With Stallone’s involvement with the series looking to be over, it is a good time to summarise his Rambo movies in order. Stallone has been involved in all four movies that have been made so far, First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo III, and Rambo.
First Blood (1982):
The first of the ‘Rambo’ movies, First Blood, was based on the novel of the same name by David Morrell. It is sometimes known as ‘Rambo: First Blood’. The film introduces the character John Rambo as played by Sylvester Stallone. It establishes Rambo as a Vietnam veteran who is trying to find his place in a society that doesn’t want him. He clashes with Sheriff Teasle, who sees him only as a drifter he doesn’t want in his town. He arrests Rambo, but post traumatic stress from his time as a prisoner of war causes Rambo to panic. He injures various deputies and escapes. A man hunt ensues, where Rambo is revealed to be a killing machine, and the local police and volunteer army are no match for him. Eventually Rambo’s mentor and former commander, Colonel Trautman shows up and convinces Rambo to surrender.
Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985):
John Rambo is in a prison labour camp for his crimes in First Blood. Colonel Trautman visits him and offers him the opportunity of a Presidential pardon in exchange for help documenting the existence of prisoners of war still in Vietnam. Instead of just photographing the prisoners, Rambo rescues one and the person in charge, Murdock, refuses to have him picked up in the helicopter and Rambo is captured. Rambo escapes, rescues all the prisoners and destroys all of Murdock’s equipment. Afterwards he refuses to go back to America and walks off into the distance. Officially George P. Cosmatos directed Rambo: First Blood Part II, but it was revealed afterwards that Stallone actually had most of the directorial control.
Rambo III (1988):
Now John Rambo lives in Thailand and is once again visited by Colonel Trautman. Trautman is planning a mission delivering weapons to Afghanistan fighters in their war against the Russians. Rambo refuses as he has had enough of war. However, later he finds out that Trautman has been captured and so he goes in and successfully rescues him.
In Stallone’s last outing as John Rambo, the character is still in Thailand. Now he sells snakes to a village near the Burmese border. He eventually agrees to take them into Burma on his boat, event though he believes no good can come from them taking medical supplies into the war torn region. He has stopped believing things can change. As with Trautman in Rambo III, he once again finds out the missionaries have been captured and goes in and successfully rescues two of them with the help of some mercenaries. At the end of the movie he finally returns to America, to a ranch that looks to be owned by his father.