Despite the no holds barred reputation of Rambo as a character, the first instalment in the franchise only actually contains one death scene. Don’t be fooled into thinking that makes it boring though – the whole film is dripping with tension and atmosphere as Rambo is forced to utilise all of the skills he picked up in a war that he is desperately trying to forget. When Rambo’s ex-Colonel is brought in to help the police in capturing Rambo it becomes very clear they’ve messed with the wrong person: “I don’t think you understand. I didn’t come to rescue Rambo from you; I came here to rescue you from him.”
Roman General Maximus Meridius (Russell Crowe) is betrayed by the new emperor (Joaquin Phoenix) and sold into slavery, while his wife and son are murdered. He eventually becomes a gladiator, and the only thing that keeps him alive is the determination to face the man who put his family to death. The battle scenes in this film are bloody and fast paced, with Maximus going toe to toe with gladiators, bladed chariots, and even wild animals.