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As one of the most popular and macho action franchises to date, how does Rambo gun down the competition?

The Rambo films are known for explosions, mass killing and over the top action. What may come as a surprise is that the first film only has 2 Rambo kills and 3 overall (a man falls out of a helicopter); What’s more surprising is that Rambo actually only shoots one person. The film also doesn’t include the famous bow and arrow and compared to the rest of the franchise comes in with a measly 8 explosions. The film doesn’t even have ‘Rambo’ in the title instead it’s called First Blood and is set in the hills of a small town in Washington, not in some Arabic country where Rambo is shown to be an American hero.

The second film, confusingly called Rambo: First Blood Part II, ups the action by placing Rambo in the warzones of Vietnam. In the previous film Rambo couldn’t really kill the American cops due to American audiences but seemingly Vietnamese audiences weren’t a major concern for Part II as 52 people are killed by Rambo himself and 62 overall. He also shoots 21 people which is an incredible 20 more than the previous film. Explosions have also increased from 8 to 45. All of this shows that the Rambo audiences know nowadays was really born in this second movie.

The plainly titled Rambo III continues this upward trend by increasing Rambo’s kill count marginally from 52 to 57 but more importantly increases overall deaths from 62 in Part II to 108 in Rambo III. That is an 80% increase in the number of people Rambo doesn’t even kill himself showing that this was a much larger scale affair than the previous one. Explosions also skyrocket from 42 in the previous film to a huge 112.

Rambo, the fourth and most recent film was released 20 years after the third and made some changes. It came as no surprise that Rambo had the lowest amount of physical fights as Sylvester Stallone, the franchise lead actor, was 61 years old. However this difference is marginal showing that Rambo might survive another outing as the jungle warrior.

Further changes are in the ever increasing Rambo kill count from 57 in Rambo III to 72 in this film. Incredibly overall deaths increase further from 108 to 203; it seems a Rambo bystander is the least likely to survive of all franchises we’ve encountered thus far. The last stat of interest is explosions which actually see a decrease from 112 to 36, but this is perhaps due to Rambo avoiding tanks and spending most of his time behind one large turret gun.

Rambo is a pure action franchise and with a constant elevation of combat it’s hard for Rambo fans to be left disappointed.

What we learnt from...


The older you get the less you get injured.
The slower you are the more people you kill
When being chased by dogs, stop and make a booby trap
Going topless makes you fearless
Forests are safer than houses
One turret gun will destroy an entire army
Rambo and Legolas have two things in common: archery skills and immortality
Don’t ever try to shave Rambo
Trained killers can have trauma
When Rambo opens his heart to a woman they die within a minute
Tweezers and plasters are lame but fingers and gunpowder are awesome
Never give Rambo a tank
Playing chicken with an apache helicopter and a tank will never end well
Rambo hunts with a knife
It’s not worth arresting Rambo