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Injured Resident Evil Stuntwoman Says ‘Numerous Things’ Were Changed On Set Before Accident

The life of a stunt performer is one with inherent risk. While the vast majority of movie stunts happen with no problems, injuries can occur and sometimes those injuries are quite serious. Olivia Jackson ended up in a medically induced coma with an amputated arm following an accident on the set of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, and she says it’s because of last minute changes to the stunt that she hadn’t been made aware of.

The motorcycle stunt itself was apparently something of a last minute addition. Olivia Jackson, who was Milla Jovovich‘s stunt double on the film, said she’d been practicing a fight sequence for weeks when, on the first day of filming, she learned that the scene had been replaced with a motorcycle stunt. Motorbikes were a particular specialty for Jackson, and after a couple of practice runs, the stunt seemed ok, but then, she says the stunt changed further without her knowledge. According to Jackson…

While the specifics of what actually changed aren’t mentioned by THR, these changes apparently resulted in the operator of the camera crane, which was mounted to a van being driven directly at Jackson on her motorcycle, not lifting the crane in time. It collided with her left arm and shoulder at speed.

Last week Olivia Jackson filed a lawsuit against production companies Tannhauser Gate Inc, Impact Pictures and Bolt Pictures as well as producer Jeremy Bolt and director Paul Anderson.

In addition to being in a medically induced coma for 17 days and losing her left arm, Jackson is partially paralyzed as a result of the accident. This also wasn’t the only tragedy on the film set, as another crew member died in a separate accident.

Beyond the tragedy of the event itself, Olivia Jackson’s lawsuit claims that she was told that the film’s insurance would completely cover her, but that it did not. The lawsuit doesn’t name a specific figure that is being requested, but considering Jackson’s medical needs since the accident, and that they are ongoing, it certainly appears the requests will be significant.

None of the parties being sued have spoken publicly about the incident since the suit was filed. Because of the ongoing legal matter it seems unlikely anybody will be responding publicly.

As is frequently the case, the circumstances leading to Olivia Jackson even being part of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter was random happenstance. Another stunt performer who was supposed to be on the film got injured and was unable to do the job. Jackson took the job to simply fill in before another job she had already booked. She was going to be part of the stunt team working on Wonder Woman which was filming in the U.K where she lives.

Certainly, this story still has more to tell. If the lawsuit actually makes it to trial and isn’t settled out of court we’ll learn a lot more about the events of that day.

10 Stars Who Were So Close to Becoming the Bachelor or Bachelorette

The bait and switch. It happens more often than you think while executives for The Bachelor and Bachelorette are debating the next season’s lead. Choosing the lucky one to hand out roses each season is no easy feat, which is probably why ABC producers have plenty of back-up choices in case something goes awry.

“It’s always a very difficult choice. And people get angry no matter who we choose,” producer Mike Fleiss previously told Entertainment Weekly. “Really, you can’t look for 100 percent approval, you’ve gotta make your best decision in terms of story potential.”

Take this upcoming season, for example. Mike Johnson has been the obvious Bachelor front-runner for weeks now, but producers threw fans for a loop when it was announced Peter Weber, a.k.a Pilot Pete landed the job.

And this isn’t the only upset in recent memory. Plenty of stars from Bachelor Nation have been on the receiving end of that inevitable bait-and-switch in the past—and it’s not pretty. Check out 10 former contestants who were this close to landing the role of Bachelor or Bachelorette.

Veja Condor Running Sneaker Review

The models I’d acquire over the years—two different pairs of the Esplar designed for Madewell, and the V-10 Unicorn in iridescent silver, which I wear religiously—were first and foremost more comfortable than the Converse I wore into disrepair, and ultimately better priced and durable.

Since then, Veja has rolled out several interesting collaborations, including the recent one with Christophe Lemaire, as well as vegan variations. But its biggest innovation to date—the one I’ve been excited about since I first learned it was in the works—stands to shake up an industry dominated by legacy brands such as Nike, Mizuna, and Asics.

Courtesy of Veja
Courtesy of Veja

Veja’s Condor running sneaker is the first ecological shoe of its kind, designed with 53% bio-based and recycled materials. “Our challenge was to create a running shoe without plastic. 99% of the materials in existing running shoes are plastic and should be prohibited,” Kopp tells me. The plastic he speaks of, which wasn’t used to make the Condor, is specifically a polymer that’s 99% petroleum. “Our society’s dependence on plastic and oil is an ecological disaster,” announces the pocket brochure that comes with each pair. “From drilling petroleum to plastic waste flowing into the sea, why aren’t we looking at how we can reduce our dependence on both?”

Veja Condor Mesh White and Orange

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Veja Condor Mesh Black and White

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Getting to that point required four years of R&D before the product was even conceived. The founders hired a running technician from Mizuna who brought deep technical knowledge and infused the company with the running culture it was missing. The brand overcame many failures over the years, testing and reinventing until they got it right. Right meant approbation from a host of testers, from amateurs to running industry pros, all over the world. “They were bluffed by the performance of the shoe, particularly given that it’s our first!” says Kopp.

The shoe is a balance of natural materials such as banana oil, rice husk, and sugar cane for the expanded midsole, castor oil for the upper stability inserts, and more innovative elements like Alveomesh (a technical fabric made from 100% recycled plastic bottles that lends breathability) and L-FOAM, a proprietary technology made out of 50% natural latex and 50% synthetic latex, used for the cushioning insert that protects against vibrations.

Veja’s Condor running sneaker, its latest innovation in sustainability-minded design.

Courtesy of Veja

I brought home the light grey pair and immediately took them for a spin on the streets of Paris. I’m by no means a serious runner—ongoing back pain from a herniated disk limits the activities I feel comfortable pursuing—but as a fast-walker, I’m just as much the target audience as a casual jogger or marathoner. Don’t run at all? The Condor could still be worn as an everyday shoe.

The Bachelor Runners-Up: Where Are They Now?

Breakups are never easy—but try adding a camera crew, production team, and all of America watching on top. Sounds like a nightmare, am I right?

That was the reality for many of the runners-up from The Bachelor: the hopeful ones who signed up to appear on a dating competition show but left broken-hearted in a limo sans Neil Lane engagement ring.

Some of the women who came in second place have moved on with their lives and started their own families. Some took a turn at handing out the roses themselves as The Bachelorette, and quite a few decided to take a step back and remove themselves from the limelight altogether.

Whatever they’ve chosen to do, we’ve done some digging on all of them—yes, every single runner-up from all 23 seasons of The Bachelor—and got to the bottom of what everyone is up to today.

(Not photographed: Tara Huckeby, who didn’t exactly have the easiest breakup with Bachelor Jesse Palmer in season five. The general contractor from Oklahoma immediately called him out for “leading her on” after learning that she wasn’t the chosen one. Since the show, she’s kept a low profile and has stayed out of the spotlight.)

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds Still Flirt Like Total Newlyweds

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are obviously two very famous people on their own with major careers. But when you combine the two personalities—especially on social media—well, that’s where the real magic happens.

Even though they’ve been married for seven years and are about to welcome their third child, the couple is still as playful as ever with their internet banner. And, frankly, we love to see it. Take for instance a recent flirty message that Lively wrote under a brooding black and white photograph of Reynolds. “Feeling very happy about my life choices right now,” she said. We see no lies here. (The photo is a promo shot from Reynolds’ Aviation gin line.)

While this latest comment was a seemingly sincere message from Lively, the couple is actually best known for brilliantly trolling each other on social media. In honor of Lively’s 32nd birthday in August, Reynolds posted a series of unflattering photos of his wife—well, as unflattering as a photo of Blake Lively can actually be—with a simple, “Happy Birthday, @blakelively.”

The couple also loves to post birthday messages where they crop their significant other out of the frame, like when Lively posted that other Ryan (Gosling) in her 2017 post about Reynolds.

Obviously, this is all good-natured and fun and only serves to make the couple more relatable. It’s basically a part of their brand at this point and we hope that never changes. Reynolds recently explained their trolling tendencies to Ryan Seacrest. “Oh yeah, we do once in a while. It’s kind of like what my dad used to say, ‘If you can’t say anything nice, say something embarrassing.’ That’s how we roll,” he said. “I think it’s a sign of a healthy relationship, personally. I do, yeah.”

We totally agree and can’t wait to see what sort of delightful diss these two come up with next.

It’s Time to See More Body Diversity on The Bachelor

Earlier this week, ABC unveiled the 33 women competing for Peter Weber’s heart on The Bachelor next season. (You can see them pictured above.) And while there seem to be more contestants of color than seasons past, there’s only one body type as far as I can tell: thin.

It’s disappointing to not see more body diversity, but also not so surprising. After all, this is a franchise where a woman over 27 is considered a “cougar” and we’ve only seen one Bachelorette of color. When it comes to body diversity, there was progress in 2015 when plus-size model Bo Stanley appeared as a contestant on Chris Soules’ season. But she was cut the first week.

And then, when host Chris Harrison was asked in 2014 if there will ever be a “chubby” Bachelor, his answer was…less than encouraging. “That’s not attractive,” he told The New York Times Magazine. “And television is a very visual medium, and I know that sounds horrible to say, but I know that at 42, in the eyes of television, I’m old and unattractive. Sure, I can put a suit and tie on, but I have hair on my chest and I don’t have a 12-pack. I live a healthy life, but I don’t do eight hours in the gym, nor do I want to. And I don’t eat 50,000 egg whites.”

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight last year, Robert Mills, ABC’s senior vice president of alternative series, specials, and late-night programming, said the series would “absolutely” cast for more body-type diversity. However, he added this caveat: “A lot of it does revolve around who the lead is and who the lead wants to date. What you don’t want to do is say, ‘We’re going to put on somebody who’s more curvy,’ and then they’re gone the first night. It’s hard, but we’re all for as much diversity as possible.”

While I understand what Mills is getting at here and consider myself forever member of Bachelor Nation, there’s no excuse for foregoing body diversity altogether. This should go without saying, but there are many types of beautiful bodies in the world. And what’s more: These bodies are sexy—and people find them sexy. I think it’s time the franchise reflected that.

Whitney Way Thore from My Big Fat Fabulous Life echoed this in a recent interview with Glamour about plus-size women on reality TV. “If you look at America, the average woman is plus-size,” she said, noting the often-quoted statistic that 68% of American women wear a size 14 or above. “So what are we doing on however many seasons of The Bachelor and there’s never been a fat woman? I would love to see it, especially in terms of desirability and love and sex appeal. You don’t see a fat person because they’re not ready to present that a fat woman can be that way. That’s a big problem.”

Jake Gyllenhaal Shares Hilarious Blooper Compilation From Spider-Man: Far From Home

Filmmaking is a serious business, but that doesn’t mean fun can’t be had along the way. For the actors, that usually translates to them cracking up on set, whether it’s because they mess up their own lines, something funny is happening during the shooting of a scene or anything in-between. Thus, the blooper reel is born, and Spider-Man: Far From Home has its own included among its many special features.

With that in mind, Jake Gyllenhaal, the man who brought Mysterio to life in Spider-Man: Far From Home, took to Instagram to share a compilation of Tom Holland continually laughing during one of his scenes with Gyllenhaal. Check it out!

As those who’ve seen Spider-Man: Far From Home will recognize, this is the part in the movie where Peter Parker bequeaths the E.D.I.T.H. glasses that Tony Stark left him to Quentin Beck, as the teen hero feels that Mysterio is better suited for the responsibility of accessing the Stark Industries databases and controlling its supply of orbital weapons. Unfortunately for Peter, he made the wrong choice, as Mysterio was revealed shortly thereafter to be a fraud who wanted that technology for sinister purposes.

But that’s beside the point. For this article, we’re focusing on how Jake Gyllenhaal is trying to seriously deliver one of his lines in this crucial Spider-Man: Far From Home scene, and for whatever reason, Tom Holland can’t keep a straight face. Gyllenhaal takes it all in stride, not terribly frustrated by his scene partner’s inability to keep maintain composure, but also wanting to deliver a take without any issues. This blooper compilation ends with Gyllenhaal laughing at how Holland just ran off the set after his last crack-up.

If only Spider-Man and Mysterio could have had good times like this in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Alas, just like his comic book counterpart, he turned out to be a villain, and even in death, he was able to screw Peter Parker over by revealing his secret identity to the world and framing him for murder. Granted, given his penchant for illusions, there’s always the possibility that Mysterio could still be alive, but even if he’s not, his actions have made him one of the most memorable Spider-Man villains on film.

Back to cheerier material, if you’re looking to enjoy more blooper entertainment, check out this other snippet of gags and goofs that will be available on the Spider-Man: Far From Homehome release.

With plenty of positive reception and an over $1 billion haul, Spider-Man: Far From Home is not only one of the most well-received Spider-Man movies, it’s also now Sony Pictures’ highest grossing movie. Where the live action film series will go from here is unclear given the recent split between Disney and Sony, resulting in Spidey being removed from the MCU. But for now, Tom Holland still plans to keep playing the Web-Slinger, and Sony is reportedly keen on having Jon Watts direct again.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is now available on Digital HD, and you can pick up a Blu-ray/DVD copy on October 1. If you’re curious about what this year’s remaining movies are, look through our 2019 release schedule to plan your trips to the theater accordingly.

How Downton Abbey Jumped From TV To Film, According To The Director

Downton Abbey the royals sitting in the midst of the Crawley family, at a ball

When a TV show gets to a certain point of popularity, the question of when the seemingly eventual film adaptation will arrive starts to become more of an issue that needs to be addressed. By time creator/writer Julian Fellowes had concluded Downton Abbey‘s run in 2015, that was a question that even he really didn’t have an answer to.

Over the next couple of years, an idea would take hold, leading Fellowes to get the Crawley family gang back together in order to make Downton Abbey into a cinematic event for 2019. But it wasn’t just as simple as deciding to make a movie and turning on the cameras. For the world of British period drama to cross over from the world of TV to that of the cinema, some crucial adjustments would need to be made.

At the head of the actual production process was the film’s director, and fellow Downton veteran, Michael Engler. The director of several episodes from the series’ later seasons, Engler was a perfect choice to update the world of this hit television series for the big screen.

Which meant that when I got to sit down with him on behalf of CinemaBlend during the recent press day for Downton Abbey, we had an in-depth conversation about the intensive process of returning audiences to a place and time they were previously used to seeing on a smaller scale.

Downton Abbey Carson walks down the path from Downton

How Julian Fellowes’ Story Created A New Lens For Downton Abbey

As one would suspect, it all began with Julian Fellowes’ able pen, as Michael Engler explains below:

First of all, it starts with the script, and what [Julian Fellowes] had to do, which was create a structure that would be a standalone story. A one story event that would pull all the funny characters in and raise the stakes for them all, and have its own kind of beginning-middle-end, and then give you opportunities to go off on little off-shoot stories with all these characters you’ve come to know. The series worked that way, everybody had their own little story, and he had to find a way to do that and still make it feel like one event. So just balancing those stories out and keeping the main one moving forward was the trickiest part of that.

With Fellowes himself admitting that he didn’t know for a fact that there was even going to be a Downton Abbey movie, the script process sounded like it encountered a little more difficulty than the usual film adaptation of a televised series. As the Crawley family’s story felt pretty wrapped up at the end of Season 6, there was the need for something extraordinary to open the book back up on his famed series.

And what better an occasion than a royal visit from King George V and Queen Mary, played in the film by Simon Jones and Geraldine James, respectively. With inspiration from a real life royal visit in 1912, Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern’s Lord and Lady Grantham were now given a proper reason to return with family, friends and everyone else in tow.

With a new story came new scenarios for everyone, from the heads of the Crawley household to their children and their families, and even the downstairs staff! This in turn fed naturally into scaling up the visual scope of Downton Abbey’s cinematic debut, which Michael Engler continued to discuss in the following terms:

But then, because the mechanism of creating that story was the Royal Visit, it also created a lot more interesting and different kinds of cinematic opportunities. Just big scale events, you know the parade and the review of the troops, and the ballroom scene, the big parties, and things like that, so that pretty naturally, things scaled up to size. Whereas in the series, if you had a scene at a big ball, you might have caught corners of it, and pieces of it, you might not have seen the whole huge thing so many times, or at all. You’d sort of see it from an anteroom nearby or something like that. Even just scaling up the rooms we’re familiar with, and the costumes, and all that, it allows for so much more detail to be perceived, and for us to be able to develop that focus on it.

From Julian Fellowes’ script to Michael Engler’s execution of said script’s vision, Downton Abbey experienced a natural progression when it came to opening up the story into a brand new context. And with a new story in a new medium comes the opportunity to mix some of that creative energy into the look of the world so familiar to us all.

Downton Abbey Daisy and Miss Patimore bonding in the kitchen, as the sun streams in

Updating The Look And Feel Of Downton Abbey

With a couple of years passing between the end of Downton Abbey’s series and production on the film version, there was no guarantee that the sets from the ITV series still existed. But as luck would have it, the production of the film continuation wasn’t plagued by too many cases of rebuilding familiar settings from the Grantham estate.

Engler’s story about scaling Downton for the big screen continues by describing how even though some well-known corners of the palatial manor were still available for production, there was always a way for things to become a bit more visually updated:

They rebuilt some of them, and some of them they had. For instance the bedrooms, they were the same bedrooms, it was the same furniture and all of that. But then, where the walls had been painted green, instead now it was like beautiful cut green velvet wall coverings. So you were back in those rooms again, and they felt the same, but now suddenly you thought ‘Wait, why does this feel so much richer, and more detailed and complex?’, and it was really all those details could get a little bit more fleshed out. You would see more detail, you’d see more depth.

Obviously with the budget of a major motion picture like Downton Abbey, a lot of older sets could be updated. It wasn’t just a matter of updating what was being filmed, as the method of how filming Downton had evolved as well. Even just watching the trailer to the movie, you can see that both the upstairs and downstairs at Downton, as well as the village it resides near, looks and feels much warmer than ever.

The secret weapon in this case came down to one particular member of the Downton Abbey film crew that Michael Engler had to single out for praise:

Ben Smithard is a really great cinematographer. Not that there weren’t any in the series, but he just has a good eye for that kind of scale of romance and period and everything.

A series that was once known for drawing room conversations, intimate dances and lots of natural light was turned into a film that turned what already looked beautiful on television into an absolutely stunning film. Which leads to the final finishing touches that Engler and I discussed during our time together, as the expansion of scope didn’t stop with the look and structure of the story – it also came with some added elements that enhanced what made Downton Abbey so special.

Downton Abbey The Dowager Countess delivering a zinger at dinner

A Funnier, More Action-ish Downton

While Downton Abbey has always had a way with humor, Julian Fellowes has outdone himself with the new film, as there are several sequences that see the laughs coming faster and funnier than ever. As someone familiar with the material, Michael Engler was ecstatic to see this improvement; though he explained the reservations that accompanied this increase in comedic energy:

I love that. I felt like, again, [Julian Fellowes] was just kind of amping up everything, including the comedy. So we just really embraced it. At first we were a little afraid to go too far with it, or that it wouldn’t feel like Downton, and we just said ‘No, this is the show growing into a film, and this is the film taking on its own life.’ And the scale of the event felt like it was worthy of it. It’s bigger comically, it’s bigger romantically, it’s big in every way.

A greater sense of humor is definitely something Downton Abbey benefits from at the movies. However, in a series where everything from blackmail to World War I, and some soul crushing deaths in-between, have had their place in the story, there was something new for fans who wanted to see a little bit of excitement and intrigue added to the already spectacular story. It comes courtesy of a little bit of espionage infiltrating the royal visit.

Without spoiling the fun, Downton Abbey actually sees some action added as a story mechanic for its cinematic incarnation. An actual chase scene during the crowded royal parade, as well as a moment where two characters wrestle with each other on the ground, adds some suspense and tension to the proceedings, though Michael Engler was reserved in his own recounting of that very scene, calling it “action-ish.” While some might be put off by this short burst of adrenaline, the director felt that it just played into the usual variety of stories that have been told at Downton for years, saying:

Downton always did a lot of different things, and that was what’s so amazing about it. It’s like a workplace drama, and a family drama, and a romance and a romantic comedy. It was all these different things, and I’m so impressed by its ability in this film to kind of recreate the variety and the spectrum of things that the series was in one story.

Making a movie out of a television show is harder than it seems, especially if you want to do it right. Thanks Julian Fellowes and Michael Engler’s artistic energies focusing in the right places, while also asking the best questions to make sure that the evolution of Downton’s film adventures played organically, a familiar world finds new life after taking a well-earned rest.

It could lead to some sequels that continue the Crawley family saga, though as always, it’ll come down to how this new film does in theaters.

Downton Abbey will expect you to show your support at the movies this weekend, starting with early showings on Thursday night. There is no dress code, though you will have to provide your own tea. And if you aren’t familiar with the legendary tales of Downton’s past, you can either watch the handy recap video that runs through all six seasons in a quick 10 minutes, or you could stream the entire six seasons from various purveyors of fine streaming entertainment.

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Mickey Rourke Claims Feud With Robert De Niro Kept Him From Being In The Irishman

Did you know Robert De Niro and Mickey Rourke have had an over 30-year feud? Rourke has no issue spilling all the details, citing its beginnings on the set of 1987’s Angel Heart. Back then, De Niro allegedly told him “I think it’s better if we don’t talk” on the set of the thriller. The so-called beef has carried over into their current careers, and Rourke now claims De Niro barred him from a chance to work with Martin Scorsese on his upcoming big-budget Netflix film, The Irishman. In Rourke’s words:

Mickey Rourke told all on Italian television show, Live – Non è la D’Urso (via Independent), sharing his disappointment in the missed oppurtunity. He said he was “upset” about it, especially since he “needed the money” and a gig on The Irishman would have been a good break for him. However, when producers Jane Rosenthal and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, and casting director Ellen Lewis, of the upcoming Scorsese film were contacted on the matter, here’s how they replied (via IndieWire):

So either Mickey Rourke is flaming fake fire or three members of Scorsese’s The Irishman have their facts wrong. On Live – Non è la D’Urso, the Iron Man 2 actor also talked about how he used to look up to Robert De Niro in the ‘80s on a pedestal the likes of Marlon Brando and Al Pacino are on before their bad blood. Now, he thinks differently. Here’s what he said:

Those are bold words from Mickey Rourke! If he really did have a shot at The Irishman, he has reason to be disappointed. The exciting release is Martin Scorsese’s first film in three years, and will star Robert De Niro as hitman Frank Sheeran, Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa, Joe Pesci as Russell Bufalino and an all-star supporting cast including Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale and Anna Paquin.

Everything You Need To Remember About The Rambo Franchise Before Last Blood

Sylvester Stallone in Rambo: Last Blood

Sylvester Stallone will always be best known for his role as Rocky Balboa. However, through the 1980s and beyond, there was another popular character that Stallone has played numerous times: John Rambo. Stallone first played Rambo in 1982’s First Blood, and now it appears the character will finally bid his own farewell in the aptly named Rambo: Last Blood.

While the name Rambo by itself has become a recognized term for macho combat, considering it’s been nearly 40 years since First Blood, and over 10 years since the last entry in this franchise, there’s a good chance most people don’t even remember everything John Rambo has been through in his life, so here’s everything you need to remember before Last Blood hits screens on Friday.

Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo in First Blood

Rambo Fought In Vietnam And Was A POW

John Rambo fought in the Vietnam War, where he earned multiple commendations, including the Congressional Medal of Honor. However, he, like many unfortunate souls, has many scars as a result of his time there. Some are physical, some are not.

When we meet Rambo in the first film, he discovers that the last living member of his unit has died of cancer as a result of Agent Orange exposure. He drifts into the sleepy town of Hope, Washington, where he runs afoul of a sheriff who sees him as nothing more than a vagrant. After being arrested, Rambo’s body is shown to be covered in scars, and in brief flashback moments, we learn that he was captured and tortured while a prisoner of war. It’s mentioned in the sequel that he was able to escape from the camp.

First Blood

Rambo Suffers From PTSD

While, even in the early 80s, post traumatic stress disorder wasn’t as well understood as it is now, the fact that people coming back from Vietnam were dealing with psychological and emotional difficulties was certainly known. John Rambo is one of these people. It’s never said outright, but it’s clear.

In First Blood, Rambo is abused by some bad cops, and we see him making mental connections between this abuse and what he suffered while at war. It causes him to lash out and attack, leading to the conflict in the first film, and by association, the entire franchise.

At the end of First Blood Rambo breaks down completely in front of his former commander, talking about the flashbacks that he has and the horrors he witnessed, and it’s clear the man needs help. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that he ever really gets it..

Rambo: First Blood Part II

Rambo Went Back To Vietnam

The closest thing to therapy that John Rambo seems to get is being placed back into a situation where he feels more comfortable. Unfortunately, for him, that means fighting in the jungle. 1985’s Rambo: First Blood – Part II sees Rambo in prison following the events of the first movie, but he’s offered a pardon in exchange for going back to the camp where he was a prisoner in order to determine if there are any soldiers left behind who are still there.

Rambo gets captured and tortured again. It turns out there are some POWs who have been held in Vietnam for a decade. Rambo ends up escaping again, but this time he’s able to bring some of the missing soldiers home with him. He also blows up a small chunk of Vietnam on the way out the door.

Rambo III

He Fought in Afghanistan

There are a lot of elements of the Rambo franchise that haven’t necessarily aged well, but the plot of Rambo III may have aged worst of all. The movie, released in 1988, sees Rambo go into Afghanistan in an attempt to rescue his former commander Colonel Trautman (Richard Crenna). Trautman was there to help support Afghani freedom fighters against the invading Russian army.

This fits with the politics of the day, as the U.S. military did exactly this. However, with a modern eye, the whole thing is a little unfortunate when you realize just who some of those freedom fighters actually were. Only three years after Rambo III came out, the U.S. would be invading Afghanistan itself and battling some of those same rebels.

Richard Crenna as Sam Trautman

Rambo’s Only Friend Is Gone

The only recurring character throughout the Rambo franchise, beyond Rambo himself, is Colonel Sam Trautman. He was played by Richard Crenna in the first three Rambo films. However, Crenna had died before the fourth film went into production. It was dedicated in his memory.

Trautman’s fate isn’t specifically dealt with in Rambo, but with another 20 years having passed since that movie, it seems clear that the colonel, the man who trained Rambo, is canonically dead as well. With Rambo’s unit having all died before the events of First Blood, this makes Rambo truly alone. Nobody alive knows what he has been through.

Rambo 4

Rambo Came Home

Throughout the entire Rambo film franchise, Rambo is a drifter. We don’t know where he’s coming from when we first meet him in First Blood, but there’s no indication he has a home at all. Throughout the movies, he holds various jobs and spends most of his life living in Thailand, but it’s clear he never really makes it home.

It’s mentioned more than once that he’s from Arizona, and at the end of the fourth movie, simply titled Rambo, we see him arrive at a ranch belonging to an R. Rambo. He mentions earlier in the movie that his father may or may not still be alive, so this is likely the family homestead. The wandering soldier has decided to stop wandering.

This is where the new movie, Rambo: Last Blood, will pick up. We know that Rambo is still on the family ranch in Arizona. This time he won’t be fighting Russians or traveling to Asia. Instead, we’ll watch Rambo face his final challenge in the form of a Mexican drug cartel.

Rambo has had an awfully long road to Last Blood. While the majority of the films have focused on him being an unstoppable super soldier, he’s also a tragic figure. He went through war and then had to deal with the fact that said war was unpopular. All this left scars. Scars,which, through the four movies we have seen, clearly have not yet healed.

Rambo: Last Blood opens in theaters this Friday, September 20.

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