A Summary of "Rambo"

by Matthew Anderson

Despite the name, "Rambo," released in 2008, is actually the fourth installment of the Rambo film series. The story takes place 20 years after the events of "Rambo III." In this entry in the series, John Rambo is hired to rescue a group of missionaries who were captured by the Burmese government. The plot of the movie was intentionally written to draw attention to the real world problems that plague Burma.


Since the events of "Rambo III," Rambo has relocated to northern Thailand, near the border of Burma. He makes his living as a snake trapper and by ferrying people across the Salween River. A humanitarian group led by a missionary, Michael Burnett, asks Rambo to ferry his group into Burma. Initially, Rambo refuses this request, but is eventually persuaded by Sarah Miller, a member of the group.


During the journey along the river, a gunboat, manned by three pirates, attacks Rambo's boat. The pirates demand that Miller be given to them in exchange for safe passage along the river. After a fruitless negotiation, Rambo kills all three pirates. Burnett, disturbed by Rambo's actions, insists his group will travel by road the rest of the way and does not need his services for the return trip.


Unknown to the pastor who sent them or to Rambo, Burnett's group is captured shortly after arrival by Major Pa Tee Tint's Burmese military forces. The pastor, concerned by the lack of communication from the group, hires five mercenaries to check on them. The mercenaries hire Rambo to ferry them down the river. Rambo offers to help the mercenaries on their mission, but is turned down.


The mercenaries encounter a squad of Burmese soldiers with a group of hostages. They take cover, unwilling to fight the larger force. The mercenaries are shocked when Rambo, who they believed was simply a ferryman, dispatches the entire squad with his bow. Rambo convinces the mercenaries to stage a daring rescue on the camp where the prisoners are being housed. While initially successful, everyone, except Rambo, Miller and one of the mercenaries, is captured.

Final Confrontation

Rambo hijacks a machine gun-equipped jeep just before the mercenaries and prisoners are to be executed. He kills a large number of the Burmese soldiers using the machine gun. He is further helped when a group of rebel forces uses this distraction to attack the soldiers. Major Tint attempts to flee, but is killed by Rambo before he escapes. After rescuing the prisoners, Rambo decides to return home to the United States.


About the Author

Matthew Anderson started as a writer and editor in 2003. He has written content used in a textbook published by Wiley Publishing, among other publications. Anderson majored in chemical engineering and has training in guitar performance, music theory and song composition.