Movie Kumite: Missing in Action vs. Rambo: First Blood Part II
We’ve had some interesting match ups thus far in the short history of Movie Kumite, but I don’t think that anyone can disagree that today’s match up between James Braddock and John Rambo is main event material.
There promises to be some major fireworks as two real American heroes battle it out in our cinematic slugfest as we pit Missing in Action against Rambo: First Blood Part II!
POP CULTURE HEROES
I don’t even want to get into the debate of who is tougher between Chuck Norris’ character Col. James Braddock and Sylvester Stallone’s character John Rambo. It is just too tough to call, but when we match up our two heroes in the pop culture sense, the edge goes to Rambo.
You ask Joe Average who Rambo is, he’s going to know it is Sylvester Stallone, you ask this same Joe Average who Braddock is and you are going to get a variety of responses, with one of the most likely being “Who?”
I talked about how President Ronald Reagan referenced Rambo during a speech as part of the Hall of Fame piece I wrote on John Rambo last year. But if being mentioned by the President of the United States is not enough to prove that Rambo is the bigger pop culture icon than Braddock, may I direct your attention to Weird Al Yankovic’s Rambo parody from the movie UHF. If you are getting lampooned by Weird Al you have arrived!
Rambo draws first blood in this battle.
MISSING IN ACTION – 0 RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II – 1
QUALITY OF LIFE
At the beginning of Rambo: First Blood Part II, we find John Rambo in a prison work camp due to his actions in the movie First Blood. At the beginning of Missing in Action, we see Chuck Norris in some dump, drinking beer and flipping between a Spider-Man cartoon and the news on TV.
Not being in prison > Being in prison. Watching TV > Breaking rocks. Cold beverage > No beverage.
Braddock ties things up!
MISSING IN ACTION – 1 RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II – 1
OLD ARMY BUDDIES
While both Braddock and Rambo have the reputations of being one man armies, they do occasionally need some help from their friends.
Braddock’s old army buddy Jack Tucker (played by M. Emmet Walsh) helps get Braddock back to Vietnam in Missing in Action. I’m a fan of M. Emmet Walsh, his work in Back to School where he uses The Force to convince a diving judge to allow Thornton Melon to be a substitute diver is an unforgettable scene. And Walsh does a great job in Missing in Action as well, but there’s no shame in losing to a character like Col. Samuel Trautman.
Trautman gets Rambo out of prison, which has to rank pretty high on the list of things you can do for a friend. In fact I’d say it is right below giving them a kidney. Plus it was Trautman that trained Rambo to be the soldier that he is, so without him there’d be no Rambo.
Score another one for Rambo!
MISSING IN ACTION – 1 RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II – 2
This has been a back and forth battle as expected, but who got the most results? And by results I mean… who killed the most bad guys?
Rambo had an impressive 58 kills to his credit in Rambo: First Blood Part II. There’s no way Braddock had more kills than Rambo, right?
WRONG! Braddock had an even more impressive 63 kills in Missing in Action.
And we are all tied up.
MISSING IN ACTION – 2 RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II – 2
It is time to consult two of the most respected movie web sites on the Internet, to either decide this contest or push us to a tie breaker.
Rambo: First Blood Part II has an IMDB rating of 6.4. Missing in Action has an IMDB rating of 5.3.
Rambo: First Blood Part II has a 60% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Missing in Action has a 42% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The critics have pushed Rambo to victory! But one thing is for certain America can be proud of both John Rambo and James Braddock! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
FINAL SCORE: MISSING IN ACTION – 2 RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II – 4