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Rambo is a trilogy of popular action films based on the characters created by David Morrell in his novel First Blood. The movies are titled First Blood (1982), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) and Rambo III (1988).
The first movie begins with the titular character - John Rambo, played by Sylvester Stallone - returning from the Vietnam War and searching for an old Army buddy. After discovering that his friend had died of cancer, and being escorted to the town limits by the local sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy) who doesn't like his type, Rambo defiantly walks back into town. Sheriff Teasle arrests Rambo, and brings him to the station where he can be cleaned up. During a forced shower with firehose, where he is beaten, Rambo has a wartime flashback of his experience as a POW in Vietnam. Temporarily losing touch with reality, Rambo escapes from prison and hides in the local mountains.
The sheriff tries to "hunt" Rambo down; however, Rambo is too well trained, and continuously eludes the posse (forced to kill one of his pursuers who was firing on him against police protocol, and maim others in the process).
The Army sends Colonel Samuel Trautman (Richard Crenna) to help the sheriff capture Rambo. Despite his advice to let Rambo defuse himself, and peacefully arrest him later, Teasle refuses his help. Worried that the Army is trying to protect their "asset," and to settle a personal score, Teasle continues his hunt. Trautman informs the sheriff that he isn't trying to protect Rambo from the sheriff, but to protect the police from Rambo.
After incredible amounts of property damage (there is only one confirmed kill for Rambo), and a showdown with Teasle, Rambo turns himself in after Col. Trautman reasons with a tearful Rambo who reminisces about the better days spent with his departed army buddies. (The filmmakers originally intended for Rambo to commit suicide, but this ending was scrapped after being rejected by a test audience. In the novel, Rambo is shot by Colonel Trautman.)
Rambo: First Blood Part II
The second movie, Rambo: First Blood Part II, has Rambo released from prison by Federal order to document the possible existence of POWs in Vietnam, under the belief that he will find nothing and the government can sweep the issue under the rug. Rambo, with the assistance of a local woman Co Bao (Julia Nickson-Soul ), does find American POWs and tries to escape with one. Marshall Murdock (Charles Napier), in charge of the operation, orders that Rambo be abandoned, and all documentation of POWs be destroyed. Rambo is taken into captivity, and tortured by the Russian army. With the help of Co (who is later killed), Rambo escapes, destroys nearly the entire hostile army, and flies back to Thailand with the rescued POWs. He then threatens Murdock to find the remaining POWs, or Rambo will find him.
The third movie, Rambo III, sees Rambo going to Afghanistan to rescue Colonel Trautman, who was captured while trying to document the atrocities of the occupying Russian army on the local forces, so the US government would aid them. With the help of the Mujahideen, Rambo is able to rescue Trautman and eliminate the homicidal Russian commander in that region. There is also a David Morrell novel of the second movie, but unlike the first book this was written after rather than before the movie.
There are rumours about a possible Rambo 4 coming in 2006. Quote from Stallone about Rambo 4: "It won't be what you think - not the same Rambo with the headband. In keeping with some sort of believability, he would be passing the torch to a younger generation of high-tech combatants. We're working on an interesting premise where Rambo is brought back from living on a ranch somewhere, and because of his skills in jungle warfare and survival, he's asked to lead a young group in a search-and-rescue mission. They can't believe this decrepit guy is a war hero, but when their technology fails, they see where Rambo excels."
Rambo was also an animated cartoon in 1986
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