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Sylvester Stallone Considers Rambo IV The Best Action Movie He's Ever Made

Blasting onto movie screens and into the global zeitgeist in 1982, Sylvester Stallone's "First Blood" (also known as "Rambo: First Blood") became the template for films powered by a lone, taciturn super-soldier going ballistic on a vengeance-fueled rampage for justice. Like many similarly themed movies that would follow its lead, the film's protagonist is a Vietnam War veteran with an ax to grind and enough weapons and explosives expertise to grind that ax with satisfyingly dramatic results.

Taking the original movie's initial one-man-army premise and running with it, Stallone would star in a series of sequels beginning with "Rambo: First Blood Part II" in 1985. "Rambo III" hit the big screen in 1988, and the next outing, titled simply "Rambo" but generally referred to as "Rambo IV," arrived in 2008.

The latest iteration, "Rambo: Last Blood," saw the franchise return in 2019. Unsurprisingly, all the installments in the John Rambo saga pack the screen with the genre-standard quota of hand-to-hand action, heavy-caliber weapons' fire, and increasingly impressive fireballs from a wide variety of flammable substances. But the films also manage to make Rambo himself more than just another muscled-up killing machine, imbuing the character with an ironic dark sense of humor to go along with his uncomplicated sense of morality. As it turns out, with all of the above to choose from, Stallone himself still singles out the number-four "Rambo" installment as the top action flick to feature his name in the credits.

For Stallone, the fourth Rambo movie holds special significance

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter about his lengthy industry resume, Sylvester Stallone was asked to comment on how the "Rambo" and "Rocky" films, specifically "Rambo III" and "Rocky IV," fit into today's highly-charged political environment, especially regarding America's current relationship with Russia. "Russia was really upset [with those movies]," Stallone said of the franchises.

The actor then segued to his feelings about "Rambo IV," saying, "One film I'm truly proud of -– it's the best action film I've ever done because it's the most truthful –- is 'Rambo IV,' dealing with Burma, where they've had a civil war for 67 years."

Stallone continued that while he's been taken to task for the extreme, graphic brutality of the film, he maintains that the ramped-up bloodshed is the whole point. "It is violent. It's horrifying. It's children being burnt alive. That's what makes civil war worse than anything. It's your neighbor, all of sudden, killing you." And while he cited "Rambo IV" as his best action movie, he added that he never thought it would actually be allowed to hit theaters due to its shocking brutality.