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FAQ for
Rambo (2008) More at IMDbPro »

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FAQ Contents


A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Rambo can be found here.

What is 'Rambo' about?

Former Green Beret, U.S. Army Special Forces, and Vietnam veteran John J. Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) agrees to take a group of missionaries, led by Michael Burnett (Paul Schulze) and Sarah Miller (Julie Benz), up the Salween River into war-torn Burma so that they can deliver aid to the Karen people who are being brutally tortured and murdered by the sadistic Major Pa Tee Tint (Maung Maung Khin) and his army. When the missionaries are subsequently attacked by Tint's men and held captive, their pastor again hires Rambo to take a group of mercenaries to the drop-off spot in an attempt to rescue them.

Rambo is the fourth movie in the Rambo series, which is based on First Blood, a 1972 novel by Canadian-American novelist David Morrell. Rambo was preceded by First Blood (1982), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), and Rambo III (1988). Rambo 5 is in development, set for release in 2015. The screenplay for Rambo was written by Art Monterastelli and Sylvester Stallone.

His full name is John James Rambo. One source is the Ultimate Edition DVD for Rambo III (1988). There is a feature called "Survival Mode" that gives biographies for the main characters.

Richard Crenna, who played Col. Trautman in the first three Rambo movies, died Jan. 17, 2003 of pancreatic cancer. Stallone said, "Trautman died the day my friend Richard died." But Trautman does appear in the film during a dream sequence. It is a montage of black and white clips from the previous three films, including a split second shot from the alternate ending of First Blood (1982), in which Rambo has Trautman shoot him in the stomach, killing him.

Earlier in the film, we see a seemingly defunct "tallboy bomb" sticking out of the ground in the middle of the jungle. Apparently it had been dropped years earlier during World War II, but never went off. Rambo, in an attempt to lead the Burmese soldiers away from Sarah and School Boy (Matthew Marsden), runs with a piece of Sarah's shirt tied to his boot to attract the soldiers' attack dogs by scent. Rambo finds the tallboy bomb and straps the claymore mine to it, then covers it with some leaves and wraps the tripwire for the claymore around the piece of fabric. The soldiers arrive and pull the cloth and tripwire, causing the claymore to explode, which acts as a detonator for the tallboy bomb.

One possibility is that the weapon that School Boy carries makes a louder noise than a regular rifle or gun would make, especially in the location they are in. The purpose of the shot was to cause an echo that would throw the Burmese off, thus giving Rambo time to run to the old bomb that we see earlier in the film. More likely, Rambo removes a piece of Sarah's clothing in order to lure the advancing army to him instead of her using her scent (which the dogs were given in the compound). He then asks School Boy to fire a shot in an attempt to alert the enemy to his presence. Note that, as the rifle report reverberates, Tint and his men stop their vehicles and begin pursuit on foot. Rambo's Claymore gambit wouldn't have worked unless the Burmese army is on his heels - the shot tells them where to look.

According to the website of Gil Hibben, maker of the knife seen in Rambo 3 and Rambo 4, the original plot had Rambo losing his knife and later modifying its sheath to accommodate the one he made himself. Source.

How does the movie end?

Just as the captured hostages are about to be executed, Rambo open fires with a machine gun, igniting a fierce battle between the mercenaries and Tint's army, with Tint's army having the advantage until the Karen rebels show up and join the fight. Sarah watches in horror as Rambo is shot in the shoulder by one of the soldiers on a gunboat coming down the river, but Rambo turns his machine gun on the boat until the guide blows it up with an RPG launcher. Realizing his defeat, Lt Aye (Aung Aay Noi) attempts to run away, but Rambo follows, stabbing him in the abdomen with his knife and ending the fight. As Rambo stands on top of the hill, looking down at the survivors, Sarah rushes around looking frantically for Michael, whom she finds tending to the wounded. Michael and Sarah wave to Rambo. He waves back and begins walking away. In the final scene, Rambo is still walking, but this time he is in Bowie, Arizona, and he's heading down the road to his family's ranch.

Most likely. While Sylvester Stallone did begin work on a fifth film in the series, he told Empire magazine in May 2010 that he reconsidered the idea:


I was going to do it. I said I'd never talk about this, but with I feel that with Rocky Balboa, that character came complete circle. He went home. But for Rambo to go on another adventure might be, I think, misinterpreted as a mercenary gesture and not necessary. I don't want that to happen. I'm very happy with the last Burmese episode, because I didn't pull any punches on it.

Yes. The composer Brian Tyler reassured fans from the beginning that his score would be based on the late Jerry Goldsmith's cues for the first three First Blood/Rambo pictures.

Almost two years after releasing the theatrical version of Rambo, an extended version was released. Sylvester Stallone personally chose to revisit the footage and put together this Extended Cut. It is obvious that Stallone wanted the Extended Cut to focus more on the relationship between John and Sarah and giving more depth to the characters. He also removed some of the violence. Stallone put more than 7 additional minutes back into the film and did also carry out very minor changes leading up to a total number of 103 differences between both versions. A detailed comparison between the Theatrical Version and the Extended Cut with pictures can be found here..

Disc 1: First Blood (Ultimate Edition), Disc 2: Rambo: First Blood Part II (Ultimate Edition), Disc 3: Rambo III (Ultimate Edition), Discs 4 & 5: Rambo (Special Edition), and Disc 6: Bonus Features.The bonus features on Disc 6 are exactly the same as the ones on the fourth DVD from the Rambo Trilogy (Special Edition Collection).

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