The Greatest Movie Badasses Of All Time: John Rambo

We didn't need four movies to know not to mess with this troubled Vietnam War vet.

The search for the Greatest Movie Badass of All Time is on! MTV News has asked accomplished filmmakers, actors and you, the audience, to vote for your favorites. Now we’ve tabulated the results and found our 10 finalists for the top spot. Who will reign supreme as the Greatest Badass of All Time? Find out on February 6 at 7:15 p.m. when MTV announces the winner live at New York’s Comic-Con and right here at MTV.com.

Until then, we’re profiling the 10 contenders for the Greatest Badass mantle every day, in alphabetical order. Check out our first contenders, “Star Wars” bounty hunter Boba Fett , “Alien” astronaut Ellen Ripley , vigilante cop Dirty Harry and “Die Hard” detective John McClane . Keep checking back to see if your favorite made the list!

Name: [movie id="11830"]John J. Rambo[/movie]

Occupation: Former Green Beret, current troubled Vietnam War veteran/ mercenary for hire

Movie(s): “First Blood,” “Rambo: First Blood Part II,” “Rambo III,” “Rambo”

Weapons: M60 machine gun, fists, survival knife, crossbow with exploding-tip arrows, grenades, Molotov cocktails, truck-mounted .50-caliber machine gun, etc.

Archenemy: Local law enforcement, Vietnamese soldiers, Russian soldiers, the Burmese army

Profile: The man used alcohol, a knife and fire to heal his own bullet wound. He scaled the side of a mountain with his bare hands. He took out a Soviet tank, shirtless, on horseback. And that was only in “Rambo III”!

When we first encountered [movieperson id="99626"]Sylvester Stallone’s[/movieperson] John Rambo in 1982′s “First Blood,” he was a serious-minded character taken from the pages of a 1972 novel that condemned Vietnam and explored the psychological challenges of veterans attempting to reintegrate into a society that didn’t approve of their war (Rambo, in fact, died in the book). In the movie, Rambo is a drifter attempting to pass through the small town of Hope, Washington, on foot. Local sheriff Will Teasle makes the very bad decision of thinking that he’s going to give Rambo — sporting long hair, a military-style coat and a war-battered stare — a hard time.

Snapping back to his time as a prisoner of war, Rambo ends up launching a one-man war against the local law enforcement. Although he destroys an entire downtown, his attack takes place after hours — and Rambo’s body count is shockingly limited to a single poor schmuck who falls out of a helicopter while shooting at the fallen soldier.

By the time 1985′s “Rambo: First Blood Part II” hit theaters, the character had become a certified icon. In the sequel, we learn more about his complicated relationship with his mentor, Colonel Samuel Trautman, and more about his backstory as he heads into Vietnam to search for American POWs. We learn much less about the value of human life as Rambo kills 58 bad guys — 12 of them without his shirt on.

“Rambo III” (1988) came to theaters with the tagline “God would have mercy. John Rambo won’t!” and found our hero in Thailand engaging in stick-fighting matches. After Trautman’s capture caused Rambo to go to Afghanistan, we were treated to a barrage of muscle-flexing, grunting manslaughter unlike anything that had ever before been captured on film. At the end of the movie, Rambo drove a tank into a Russian helicopter — and walked away.

Still not convinced that John Rambo is a badass of the highest order? Take a look at this clip. Last year’s “Rambo” had him heading into Burma on a humanitarian mission — then ripping out a man’s Adam’s apple with his bare hands and opining: “When you’re pushed, killing is as easy as breathing.” The film also depicted an astounding 236 deaths, nearly three people per minute!

“Rambo” ended with the redeemed hero finally returning home to the United States and then teasing us all by showing him walking onto a property with the name “R. Rambo” on its mailbox. Stallone has said in recent interviews that he would like to make a fifth film and that he’s already written the movie and plans to direct it sometime in the near future. Let’s just hope that Stallone doesn’t also have plans to bring back the decidedly un-badass “Rambo” cartoon.

Check out everything we’ve got on “First Blood.”

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