A Look Back at the Evolution of Rambo

2019.09.24
A Look Back at the Evolution of Rambo
Column
Dexian Wang
by Dexian Wang
A Look Back at the Evolution of Rambo

Rambo: Last Blood sees Sylvester Stallone returning to an iconic role for the fifth time.

movie trailer voice This time, it's personal.

The last Green Beret goes to Mexico to take on a cartel that's holding his niece hostage. With that said, it's probably a good time to look back at some of the most memorable Rambo moments from the last four instalments.

 

Rambo: First Blood (1982)

The one that kicks it off stands out not because it's the first, but also because it stands in stark contrast with the rest of the series. When most people think of Rambo, the image of an ultra- shredded Rambo gunning down everything in sight pops up in most people's heads. A somewhat thoughtful character study on performative patriotism and PTSD, the movie sees John Rambo getting shunned by a small town. Before long, he's getting hunted by a militia dispatched by the local authorities.

 

It all culminates in a sombre scene where Rambo's old commanding officer Colonel Samuel Trautman arrives and implores Rambo to stop. What follows is one of Stallone's best performances: a monologue that sees Rambo breaking down about the war in Vietnam, his return, and the treatment of veterans in their home country.

 

Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)

 

Other than having the dubious honour of one of the most confusing movie titles in history, the shift in tone from tragic character study to full-blown action hero is never more apparent than in this scene. Here, Rambo explodes someone using an arrow and then dodges a barrel bomb that would make Michael Bay proud. Delightful.

 

Rambo 3 (1988)

 

If Arnold Schwarzenegger's thing was getting to the chopper, Stallone's thing was definitely destroying them. With arrows. Arguably the weakest of the series, Rambo 3 still delivered plenty of over-the-top action for ardent fans of Stallone/Rambo.

 

Rambo (2008)

 

Even for a franchise that's always embraced gratuitous violence as part of its appeal, the fourth Rambo movie was noticeably more violent than any of its predecessors. The final battle of the scene, which is pretty much an extended montage of John Rambo mowing down people with an M2 Browning machine gun is probably the best example of it.

 

Another memorable (if not slightly unbelievable) scene shows Rambo taking the soldiers for a ride. He then outsmarts them in a bomb run scene that displays how Rambo is more than just muscles and ammo.