Ranking the Rambo Movies: Peter and I take a look at one of Hollywood’s bloodiest franchises

Rambo is a series that has legs. It is probably tied with Rocky as Stallone’s most iconic role, and he has found creative ways to milk a lot of money (nearly 800 million dollars worth) out of the simple formula of a guy who just wants to live a peaceful life and is inevitably drawn into bloodier and bloodier conflicts.

In our latest podcast, we go in-depth into all five films in the franchise. Neither Peter nor I had actually sat to watch many of these films from start to finish, and we had a lot of fun with the ridiculous plots and the increasingly bloody and gory nature of the films.

You can click and listen right here:


Here is a quick summary of our picks:

Number Five


Rocky III (1988) – This movie got low marks because Rambo sides with what would become the future Al-Qaeda. It does have some great Colonel Sam Trautman action, however.


Rambo: Last Blood (2019) – While the ending is gloriously gory, it does take a while to get going. The set up is pretty boring, though, especially since we see it coming from a mile away.

Number Four

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Rambo III (1988) – This movie has a lot of great Trautman and Rambo action scenes and is paced a bit better than Rambo: Last Blood. The tank versus helicopter scene is awesome as is the destruction of the Afghan village.


Rambo: Last Blood (2019) – The beginning was very slow and it gives this movie a fast-forward to the action feeling to it. The ending does involve some of the bloodies and goriest Rambo action in any of the movies.

Number Three

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Rambo: First Blood (1982) – This movie starts out pretty great and takes a serious look at the struggles of a war veteran. Unfortunately, it goes bonkers mid-way through as Rambo goes on a rampage in Hope, Washington. The silliness detracts from the original depth of the movie.


Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) – While this movie is really entertaining and extremely quotable, it gets dwarfed by the amped-up violence and better story of my number two and one picks.

Number Two

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Phil and Peter

Rambo (2008) – We both ranked this movie at number two. It is bloody, gory, and relentlessly violent. This is the Rambo movie fans didn’t know they needed. It’s short on story but is super well-paced. Its level of violence has given it a cult appeal even within horror movie fans who enjoy a lot of blood on screen. This movie does not disappoint on that end.

Number One

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Rambo: Last Blood Part II (1985) – This movie marks the genesis of the Vietnam-esque action movie rage of the 80s. Rambo kills everyone on-site and is truly transformed into the iconic character that we all know and love today. This is the true first Rambo movie.


Rambo: First Blood (1982) – The first movie in this franchise surprised me with its level of depth. The bonkers ending made sense in that the movie sets up how he eventually snaps and thinks he is back in the war. The final monologue after being told that “It’s over Johnny,” is one of my favorite movie monologues of all time.


We both had a lot of fun watching this series, it is both entertaining and bonkers. I recommend it to anyone who wants some escapist fun as there aren’t any unwatchably bad movies in the series.

Thanks for reading and listening to our podcast.

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1 Response to Ranking the Rambo Movies: Peter and I take a look at one of Hollywood’s bloodiest franchises

  1. Pingback: What I am Watching: Match Point, Crawl, and Midsommer | Brazusa's Blog

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