Prior to Rambo, however, a cute and heartwarming Gaiden of sorts was created in 2008 by British director Garth Jennings called Son of Rambow. The film details the misadventures of two boys in 1982 who tried to remake First Blood with a bulky VHS-Camera and the vibrant imagination of ten year olds. Sylvester Stallone himself is said to have loved the film.A fifth Rambo film was planned, and details varied as to the plot of the film (one potential plot would have seen Rambo face off against some sort of supernatural/alien creature). However, that project seems to have stalled, and Rambo will remain the final film in the franchise at least with Stallone, who has said the rights holders may make their own sequel but once he finishes a few cuts on the Blu-ray he's done with the character.Both the films and the character have enjoyed massive success and popularity, and - alongside the Rocky series - catapulted Stallone to the position of a major action hero and film star. After the release of the first three Rambo films, Morrell went on to write the novelizations of the first two Rambo sequels because he wanted to include characterization that he felt wasn't in said sequels. There was also a 1986 animated TV series called Rambo: The Force of Freedom that lasted 65 episodes and spawned a line of toys; a few comic books starring the character; soundtrack albums for all the films (but not the animated series, which mainly tracked in Jerry Goldsmith's score for the second one); and many video games including the NES version of Rambo and the Sega Master System versions of Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rambo III. Sega also released an arcade light gun "Rambo" game back in 2008, and it is perhaps a distillation of what makes the Rambo franchise awesome.The latest entry in the franchise was Rambo: The Video Game, a rail shooter based on the first 3 movies of the series. It was released on the PC, Xbox 360, and the Playstation 3 in February 2014. A trailer can be seen here.
Provides Examples Of:
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The four movies:
Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: In First Blood, Rambo's breakdown and monologue in the end. In Rambo: First Blood Part II, the scene with Rambo and Co on the boat where he tells her he's "expendable". There are several in Rambo IV between Rambo and Sarah, most notably her pointing out "Maybe you're right, maybe we won't change anything. But trying to save a life isn't wasting your life." Unfortunately, many of these were cut.
Artistic License - History: This film series is the primary source of the persistent Urban Legend that returning Vietnam War soldiers were universally spat on and vilified. While there was some protesting at the veterans' homecomings, these were isolated incidents, and certainly never reached the in-your-face levels Rambo declaims.
Appropriated Title: The first movie was actually called First Blood. It wasn't until the sequel, Rambo: First Blood Part II, that the Rambo name was used at all.
Awesome McCoolname: Say it out loud: John. RAMBO. This name oozes pure testosterone and has been widely adapted as a synonym for raging badass. It also helps that in Japanese (乱暴, rambou) it means violent, rough, lawless.. The character was named after a breed of apple which was, in turn, named after a Swedish-American immigrant.
Rebels save Rambo in the nick of time in parts 3 and 4.
Likewise, Rambo saves a group of Burmese civilians (who are being forced to run through a minefield) with his bow in the fourth film when the mercenaries won't do anything.
Black and Gray Morality: In all four movies but especially the fourth. When a missionary takes issue with Rambo killing a half dozen river pirates (because the whole reason they're there is to help stop the violence) Rambo angrily tells him that if he hadn't done anything they would have made his fiance into a sex slave and killed the rest of them.
Flanderization: John Rambo killed precisely one guy in the first film, which was completely accidental and a Karmic Death. Galt, the guy who was killed, had repeatedly gone out of his way to antagonise Rambo, defy orders not to shoot at him and had attempted to murder him in cold blood several times. From II onward however, Rambo was a Badass who made mountains of bodies out of practically everyone in his way.
However it should be noted that Rambo was intending to kill the law enforcement at the end of the first movie had Colonel Trautman not negotiated with Rambo to surrender. He had been repressing his killer nature from his days fighting in Vietnam prior to that because he didn't want to kill any of those police men, it was only when they continued to antagonize him that he was getting ready to kill them and fall back into his old ways. Later films are simply showing us what Rambo is like when he isn't holding back.
The third film also demonstrates the lengths Rambo goes to to control and channel his violent impulses into constructive results. At the start, he's fighting in highly lucrative (and violent) prize fights...and giving the proceeds to the monks he lives among.
Forging Scene: In the fourth film. Third movie also had it, but it was cut.
The first one had Rambo building and setting up a bunch of traps and making arrows from freshly cut wood.
Genre Shift: The first movie is a rather thoughtful psychological thriller. From the second movie onwards the series is action-adventure, with Rambo being recruited for highly dangerous missions.
Just Plane Wrong: The Hind gunships in the second and third movies were actually French Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma helicopters, fitted with cosmetic modifications (most obviously the stub wings with rocket pods) to a decent semblance of a Hind. This ended up being carried over to all of the video games, licensed or fan-made.
Novelization: Notable here mostly because David Morrell, who wrote the original First Blood novel, went on to pen the novelizations of the two movies that followed, specifically noting and then tossing aside the rather egregious Canon Discontinuity that emerged from the fact Rambo died in the book, but lives on in the films.
Rated M for Manly: As noted with the image up top, this tends to increase with each sequel; notably, First Blood was not particularly testosterone-heavy.
Ripped from the Headlines: Especially the third and fourth movies (focusing on the Soviet war in Afghanistan and Burmese insurrection in Karen State, specifically) but also the second, which is based on an Urban Legend about POWs from the Vietnam War.
Sequel Number Snarl: The films in the series are entitled First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo III, and Rambo. This caused film critic Roger Ebert to wonder, in his review of Rambo III, "shouldn't this film be titled Rambo II: First Blood Part III?" Outside the US, this complication was often fixed by changing the title of the films to some variant of Rambo: (Subtitle) and having Numbered Sequels.
Stuff Blowing Up: All over the place, natch. An entire boat blows up in the river scene in Pt. II, and that's just getting starting.
The fourth blows up two boats and a whole lot of forest, courtesy of a massive unexploded Tallboy bomb. Mines and grenades aplenty, too, though they're usually treated fairly realistically - big boom, no huge fireball.
Super Soldier: Rambo is a deconstruction. Troutman trained him to become the best but all his abilities are useless in peacetime.
Truth in Television: Unfortunately, what the Burmese are doing to the Karen is not an much of an exaggeration.
Many Vietnam veterans were heavily traumatized, and some, sadly, reacted with violence. Stories of crowds of protesters jeering at them upon their return are an exaggeration, though, although some were betitled, and many ended up on the street because they couldn't find a job.
Aversion: After the second movie, an Urban Legend began to spread that large numbers of American POWs remain in prison camps in Vietnam, where they are tortured and treated horribly. While this undoubtedly happened during the war, there is no evidence any remain there.
Unintentional Period Piece: Parts II & III especially, due to their late Cold War setting. Even the fourth movie is showing signs of this, with Myanmar slowly but surely opening up politically.
War Is Hell: The war will never end for those who fought it.
But Thou Must: At the beginning of the NES version, Commander Trautman gives Rambo a mission that may be difficult. If the player chooses, "I feel safer in prison," the commander won't take no for an answer and will keep repeating that until the player chooses, "I'm not afraid of death."
Baleful Polymorph: During the ending of the NES adaptation of First Blood: Part II, the player can throw Japanese text at Murdock, which turns him into a frog.
Lock and Load Montage: The cartoon included one of these in every episode, with Rambo tying his boots, tying his bandana, and putting his knife in his boot sheath.
Multiple Endings: In the NES version you can finish the game much sooner and get a different ending if you follow Murdock's orders.
Quick Time Event: The Rambo arcade Light Gun Game features sequences where you must press the Start button at the correct times to succeed, or swiftly "click" on marked spots on the screen à la fellow Sega game GHOST Squad to fistfight a villain. Rambo: The Video Game also includes traditional Quick Time Events, as well as a notorious "perk" that disables them entirely.
Spared by the Adaptation: Co's death in the NES version occurs during a conversation cutscene that sort of mirrors the events of the movie. Skipping the conversation skips her death scene. The developers actually accounted for this in the ending.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Late in the NES game, Co appears in front of a waterfall. Talking with her (as most players will do by habit) triggers a conversation in which she is shot and killed. Run past her without talking, however, and she will appear at the end, alive and well, with dialogue specific to the ending.
Unstoppable Rage: In the Rambo arcade game, killing enemies results in Rambo's "Rage" meter going up. When it maxes out, four things happen:
Rambo gets unlimited ammo.
Rambo's bullets have a bigger impact radius and deal more damage.
Rambo becomes invulnerable.
You get a sound effect of Rambo screaming "AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!" at the top of his lungs.