Rambo (also known as Rambo IV or John Rambo) is a 2008 American action/war film starring Sylvester Stallone returning and reprising his famous role as legendary Cold War/Vietnam veteran John Rambo. Stallone also co-wrote and directed the film. It is the fourth installment in the Rambo franchise, twenty years since the last film Rambo III. This film is dedicated to the memory of Richard Crenna, who played Col. Sam Trautman in the first three films, who died in 2003. The film is about a former U.S. soldier, John Rambo, who is hired by a church pastor to help rescue a group of missionaries who were kidnapped by men from a brutal Burmese military regime. Rambo holds the record with the most kills out of the entire Rambo series, with 236 kills. In the film, Rambo kills a group of pirates, an entire squad of Burmese soldiers, and then, at the climax of the film, a huge number of Burmese army soldiers whom he shoots with a jeep-mounted .50-caliber machine gun. Stallone justified this in a press conference by saying the violence in the film was to draw attention to the ongoing problems in Burma. Including the intake of $41,368,619 in DVD sales, the film's total gross revenue is $154,611,774. The film had its cable television premiere on Spike TV on July 11, 2010. However, it was the extended cut that was broadcast not the theatrical version. The extended cut was later released on Blu-ray two weeks after its cable TV premiere.
Amid the political protests of the crisis in Burma, ruthless military officer Major Pa Tee Tint (Maung Maung Khin) leads an army of Tatmadaw soldiers to pillage small villages in a campaign of fear. He watches with indifference as innocent villagers are forced into mine-infested marshes and orders his men to abduct the teenage boys of the villages to be indoctrinated into his army. Former U.S. soldier John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) now lives in Thailand in a remote village near the Burmese border where he makes a living capturing and selling snakes as well as taxiing people up and down the Salween River in his boat. He's approached by missionary Michael Burnett (Paul Schulze) who requests that he and his group be ferried into Burma on a humanitarian mission to provide aid to Karen tribespeople. Rambo refuses, citing that without weapons there will be no change, but Michael's persistent associate Sarah Miller (Julie Benz) eventually persuades him. During their trip, the boat is stopped by a trio of pirates driving a gunboat who demand Sarah in exchange for passage, which Rambo realizes will lead to her being repeatedly raped, tortured and most likely killed. After negotiations fail, Rambo draws a pistol and guns down the pirates, later returning to burn their bodies and vessel to conceal the evidence. Although his actions saved the missionaries, Michael is greatly disturbed and upon arriving in Burma, he informs Rambo the group will travel by road and won't need him for the return trip. He insists to Rambo that killing is never right and that he will report the incident upon their return. The mission goes well until the Tatmadaw, led by Major Tint, suddenly attack, slaughtering most of the villagers and two missionaries and kidnapping the rest, including Michael and Sarah. When the missionaries fail to return after ten days, their pastor (Ken Howard) comes to ask Rambo's help to guide a hired team of five mercenaries to the village where the missionaries were last seen. Rambo agrees and accompanies the mercenaries to the drop-off. He offers to help but is refused by the team's leader Lewis Reese (Graham McTavish), an ex-Special Air Service operative, who demands he stay at the boat. As the mercenary team arrives at the village, a squad of Tatmadaw soldiers show up with a group of hostages. The soldiers are playing a game of sorts with their prisoners, which goes as follows: Several landmines are tossed into a rice paddy through which the prisoners are forced to run. The soldiers place bets on which person will step on a hidden mine. The team takes cover, planning to standby and simply let the hostages be killed in order to avoid provoking a response from a much larger group of hostiles. Having disregarded Rambo as a simple boatman, the mercenaries are shocked when he appears and single-handedly wipes out the entire squad of Tatmadaw soldiers with his bow, allowing the hostages to escape unscathed. Rambo convinces the team to avenge the massacre and save the hostages at the gulag type P.O.W. camp after he witnesses the destroyed village filled with mutilated human and animal corpses. Rambo and the mercenaries stealth the camp and successfully locate and rescue Sarah and the other prisoners and flee with them. The Tatmadaw soldiers soon discover their hostages missing and organize a massive manhunt led by Major Tint. They manage to capture everyone except for Rambo, Sarah, and a mercenary known as "School Boy" (Matthew Marsden). Just as the captured mercenaries and hostages are to be executed, Rambo hijacks a jeep-mounted .50-caliber machine gun and open fires on the soldiers, killing dozens in the process. Karen rebels then show up and join the fight, turning the tide of the battle. Major Tint, realizing his defeat, attempts to get away, but is disemboweled by Rambo. Encouraged by Sarah's words, Rambo travels to the United States and returns home, walking along a rural highway past a horse farm and a rusted mailbox bearing the name "R. Rambo."