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Delmar Barry's HomesteadEdit
John Rambo is seen walking up to friend Delmar Barry's lakefront homestead in Washington State, having gotten the address from Barry after the war. At this time, the year is 1982. Rambo has been down-on-his-luck recently, unable to hold down a job and resorting to sleeping in the woods often. Life has been quite difficult to Rambo, partictularly because the country isn't exactly welcoming to returning Vietnam veterans, who they blamed for the failed war. Rambo decides to contact Barry so he may find a new lease on life and find somebody he knows so he can muddle through his troubled life. Rambo hitchhikes to the homestead and walks down a gravel road.He eventually comes across a shimmering lake and a house with children playing outside. Rambo smiles, hopeful for the future and excited to see his only surviving friend, before rushing to get to the homefront. He encounters a middle-aged woman whom he asks if
Barry still lives here. She replies that he does, and a giddy Rambo begins showing her the only picture he has from his war days, telling her funny stories. But when Rambo inquires when he will be back, she informs him that Delmar died from cancer due to prolonged Agent Orange exposure from back in the war. Rambo is shocked by this and instantly loses all hope, as he now realizes that he is the sole surviving member of his unit. He apologizes for her loss and gives her the picture before heading off to an uncertain future.
"If you're looking for trouble..."Edit
Rambo walks along the highway, until he comes across a town called Hope, located somewhere in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state. A cold and lonely Rambo gets a little hungry and decides to stop for a bite to eat, which he hopes will lift his spirits for the time being. However, he doesn't get far into the town before the sherriff, a man by the name of Will Teasle, drives up next to him, drawn by Rambo's military jacket. Assuming him to be a drifter or a hippie by his unkempt appearance, Teasle chastises Rambo for wearing a flag on a jacket looking like a vagrant and offers him a ride. Rambo accepts. As they drive through town, Rambo asks if he knows of a good place to eat. Despite passing multiple restaurants, Teasle ignores Rambo and tells him that there is a diner thirty miles up the highway. When asked why he isn't allowed to eat in town, Teasle gets short with Rambo and tells him that he doesn't get to ask the questions.
He then tells Rambo that it's his job to make sure that homeless people don't go into his town, out of fear of attracting more homeless people. Teasle drops him off at a bridge leading south to Portland, Oregon, but Rambo turns back, angered at the thought of having to walk thirty miles to eat lunch. Teasle pulls him over and arrests Rambo for "resisting arrest". He later discovers a large hunting knife on his belt, accusing him of carrying a concealed weapon. Rambo attempts to explain that he uses it for hunting, but Teasle (who clearly knows nothing of hunting) will have none of it. Rambo is arrested and taken to the town police station. Rambo is booked by the cruel head deputy, Art Galt, who attempts to coerce his name out of him. However, what the police don't know is that Rambo is as unpredictable as he is dangerous, a former highly-skilled Green Beret special forces operative, who became mentally unbalanced after being held in a Viet Cong prison camp during the Vietnam War, suffering from a severe case of posttraumatic stress disorder.
Rambo begins having grotesque flashbacks to his war days, where his captors threw buckets of sewage on him and Galt tells Rambo that if he's looking for trouble, than he came to the right place. Galt proceeds to rough Rambo up by stripping him down, beating him with his nightstick and spraying him with a fire hose in full capacity against the wishes of another deputy, Mitch, who notices large scars on Rambo's back and chest, but who also doesn´t intervene. Rambo later has to be shaved for his court date and Galt wants to dry-shave him with the purpose of hurting him even more for being such a "hard guy". The blade also reminds him of 1965, when a Vietnamese commander took a bayonet and used it to slice his chest open.Rambo freaks out, snaps and beats through all of the men with ease, breaking one's nose and throwing another through a window. Rambo fights his way out of the station in seconds before taking his hunting knife and stealing a motorbike, his instincts in complete control. He gets into an intense chase with Teasle, but he evades him by going into the mountains. Teasle's car overturns and Rambo flees on foot, having lost the motorbike. Teasle refuses to accept defeat. He angrily cries into the wilderness that Rambo can't hide.
Down the cliffEditTeasle orders his men to come into the woods to search for Rambo on foot. His men cannot find him, however, and Galt, who was injured by Rambo earlier, attempts to find him in a helicopter. Galt blatently disregards protocol and tries to shoot Rambo down in cold blood with a rifle, against Teasle's orders with the intention of killing him in revenge for the humiliation. Rambo climbs down onto a steep cliff to evade capture, but Galt wants the helicopter to go near so he can shoot better since the helicopter can´t stay still because of the wind there with the intention of finishing him off.
Rambo, rightfully fearing for his life, decides, that he can't hang on anymore in this situation, so he decides to jump, letting the trees below cushion his fall. Rambo breaks one arm during this risky jump and gets a deep, deadly gash in his bicep. Galt orders his pilot to fly lower so he can get a better shot. Rambo hides behind a tree, grabbing a rock. Galt loosens his seatbelt and gets out of his seat, so he can finally shoot Rambo in the head. When the pilot tries to leave, Galt threatens the pilot's life. Finally Rambo seizes the opportunity to throw the rock at the chopper. It cracks the windshield and startles the pilot. The chopper nearly loses control and pitches and Galt falls to his death a hundred feet below. Rambo runs to Galt's bloodied and bruised body and looks at it with rage before leaving and taking Galt's lever action rifle. He doesn't take Galt's coat.
Meanwhile, the deputies discover that Galt has died and Teasle believes that Rambo did it. At this moment they receive information, that Rambo is a Green Beret. Mitch attempts to protest Teasle´s intentions to hunt him down, claiming that "those Green Berets are real badasses". Teasle reacts with rage and shoves his face into Galt's corpse, claiming that he's going to kill Rambo with or without him, calling Rambo a "psycho". Rambo attempts to surrender but Teasle has his men fire on him. One bullet touches his head causing a very small injury. Rambo decides therefore to escape back into the woods.
A good supply of body bagsEdit
Meanwhile, Rambo uses a hook and fishing line from a survival kit held in the handle of his survival knife to sew up his own wound and prevent from bleeding out. Rambo then camouflages himself with dirt and straps leaves and branches to himself before setting up a variety of traps including sharpened wood stakes. Teasle leads his deputies into the woods in an attempt to capture Rambo. The deputies are inexperienced and bicker, particularly after learning over the radio about Rambo's extensive combat and survival experience and status as a war hero. Teasle sends two dogs to kill Rambo, but he finishes off the bullets in Galt's gun by shooting the two dogs and later disables the small team with guerrilla tactics and by turning them against each other, all after severely injuring them. Teasle encounters one of his men tied to a tree.He attempts to run only to be encountered by Rambo, who holds his knife to his throat. Rambo warns the sherriff to quit, while he is ahead before disappearing back into the wilderness. However, this seems to only fuel Teasle's anger and he assembles a base camp near the site and calls in the National Guard. U.S. Special Forces Colonel Sam Trautman soon arrives, taking credit for training Rambo. He is surprised to find any of the deputies still alive, and warns that it would be safer to let Rambo go and find him after the situation has calmed down. Teasle refuses to give in, and Trautman warns that if he sends in the National Guard, to also bring a good suppply of body bags.
"They drew first blood..."EditThat night, Rambo has a campfire after strapping his knife to a tree branch and using it as a spear to kill a wild hog. He cooks the carcass and has a warm meal and a warm place to sleep. Trautman contacts Rambo on the radio which Rambo had earlier confiscated from one of the deputies. Trautman tells Rambo that he wants Rambo to surrender so he can get him out of this.
After Trautman tells Rambo that he shouldn't have to keep bailing him out of trouble, Rambo gets defensive and asserts that there would have been no trouble at all if Teasle had just let him get something to eat. Trautman tells Rambo that he has to stop wasting friendly civillians, but Rambo responds that there are no friendly civillians and claims that they drew first blood, not him. Trautman tries to get Rambo to surrender once more, but Rambo has by now become emotionally overwhelmed and responds by saying "They drew first blood..." before his voice trails off and he sets down the walkie-talkie abruptly, sitting there for the remainder of the evening to ponder his thoughts.
Into the mineEdit
Rambo is eventually cornered by the National Guard in an abandoned mine entrance where he had previously spent the night. The inexperienced guardsmen engage Rambo, only for him to fire warning shots at them with an M16 assault rifle he confiscated from the deputies. The guardsmen are too afraid to go in after Rambo, but the commander has one named Earl fire a disposable M72 LAW rocket launcher at him. Rambo hears the commander tell Rambo to surrender before firing the launcher. Rambo takes a chance and runs deep into the mine right as the rocket propelled grenade slams into the walls of the mine and explodes, collapsing the mine and trapping him inside. They assume Rambo is dead. However, unbeknownst to his pursuers, Rambo has escaped into the tunnels of the mine. Rambo uses a match from his survival kit in the handle of his knife and lights a piece of rotten canvas on fire, illuminating the dark mine.
He wraps the improvised torch around the blade of his knife and later finds an old wooden pole, which he creates a larger and more durable torch. Rambo adds some fuel from an old lantern and goes through the mine searching for a way out. While Teasle celebrates his victory, Rambo spends hours fighting off rats and wading through waist‑deep freezing water. Luckily, he notices that there is a draft blowing the flame on his torch. He follows this draft and manages to find an exit near a highway road. Rambo spots a National Guard caravan and hijacks a passing truck.
As the driver is preparing to light a cigarette, Rambo jumps inside the truck and asks the driver what his name is. The driver responds that his name is "Robert A.", and Rambo scolds the driver, telling him to look at the road, so as to avoid an accident. He holds his knife to the driver's throat and asks what weapons are in the truck. The driver informs him that there is an M60 heavy machine gun in the back and Rambo pushes the driver out of the car, driving for hours and through a police roadblock until he returns to town at nightfall, crashing the truck into the pumps of a gas station.
He blocks the highway to anyone in pursuit by igniting the spilled fuel with a Zippo lighter. Now heavily armed, Rambo destroys a sporting goods shop by igniting multiple cans of gunpowder and bullets, and begins shooting up the businesses on main street in an attempt to confuse and disorient Teasle before making his way to the police station, where Teasle awaits on the roof. Rambo also shoots the transformers on the town's power lines, knocking out the power to main street.
Nothing is overEdit
Soon later, Rambo enters the police station. Teasle spots Rambo through a skylight and shoots at him, but misses. Rambo shoots through the roof with hs machine gun at Teasle, severely injuring him. Teasle falls through the roof and onto the floor. Rambo steps over him, with his gun in hand and a furious and bitter Teasle eggs him to kill him. But Colonel Trautman appears and tells Rambo not to do it, which he does.He later tells him that there is no hope of escaping alive unless he surrenders.Rambo realizes that the police station is now surrounded by the police, one of them open fires at him causing Trautman to order them to hold fire, and angrily talks about how difficult it is to adjust to civillian life when his country he would die to protect hates the returning soldiers, also about how he was an important man in the war, but can't hold down a simple job back in America. He then falls to the ground, throwing the machine gun away, removing the 100-round ammunition belt he wrapped arounds his shoulders and his rage turns to sorrow and weep as he recounts a particularly gruesome story about witnessing his friend dying by having his legs blown off by a booby-trapped shoeshine box.
Trautman kneels down to Rambo, who sobs into Trautman's shoulder. After he is done, an emotionally exhausted Rambo turns himself in, and is arrested. Teasle, unhappy of not having achieved his revenge, is taken to the hospital, but not before being looked silently at with scorn by Rambo and Teasle, when they exit the police station. The credits roll as both of them move forward and with two armed policemen behind while other policemen and the civilians looking on.