May 24, 2013

Friday Fight: John Rambo vs. James Braddock

Two Vietnam vets who are forced to become a one man army, but who is more badass? One is played by Chuck Fu**ing Norris and the other Sylvester Stallone.
Two men treated like crap by their own country and then treated even worse by their Vietnamese captors. If there’s one thing they have in common, it’s that they both know war is hell… but that’s just the way they like it.

So, let battle commence!



James Braddock: Chuck Norris in MISSING IN ACTION

James Braddock is arguably Chuck’s best character; his story is rather similar to Rambo’s in that they were both POWs tortured mentally and physically in Vietnam. When they escaped from the POW camps they never settled back into a normal life back in the States. When Rambo gets off the plane after returning from war he tells us how he was spat on and verbally abused by his American Brethren. After the war Braddock is only known as MIA for 8 years.

Let’s look at the Missing in Action movie; the first movie is actually a little slow in places and only really kicks off in the final 25 minutes. It lacks a really decent villain, but what it does have is an action packed final fight where Braddock wipes out half of Vietnam after being accused of being a war criminal. He goes behind enemy lines to rescue some POWs and takes on all comers.

Chuck Norris has one of the best beards in the business and this was the perfect role for him; he got to use some of his karate skills but it also expanded his movie roles from martial arts to full on action. He also gets some help from his long time friend Jack Tucker (M. Emmet Walsh) who helps Braddock in his hour of need.

Although physically not as muscular as John Rambo, Braddock has speed and fighting skills so in terms of fighting skills Braddock wins this round.

John Rambo: Sylvester Stallone in THE RAMBO SAGA

Although Braddock would probably be able to beat Rambo in a straight up fist fight, what Braddock doesn’t know is just how mentally unstable Rambo is. He will happily rip out someone’s throat if they are hurting someone. A man who has been pushed too far by an arrogant small town Sheriff, Rambo just wants to be left alone.

Sheriff Teasle (Brian Dennehy) isn’t a bad man, but when a young drifter called John Rambo passes through his small town all hell breaks loose and completely escalates into a small war. Although at this stage Rambo never kills anyone, he only ever injures the local police force who begin hunting him through the woods.

Rambo uses the terrain to his advantage and manages to practically disable an entire police unit.

By First Blood: Part II Rambo doesn’t bother with letting people live; he blows the utter crap out of everything when he ends up as a POW once again in Vietnam. The interesting thing is that Braddock also goes through something similar in the Missing in Action trilogy.

By Rambo 2008 Rambo pretty much destroys the entire Burmese army, blowing them all apart with a mini gun on the back of a jeep. By this stage he has accepted that “killing is as easy as breathing” and has essentially made peace with what he is: a stone cold killing machine.


Although Braddock is undoubtedly a badass, he lacks the unpredictability and sheer viciousness of Rambo. If Braddock tries any fancy martial arts moves Rambo can simply use his big ass hunting knife and carve himself a steak. Sheer brute strength and a slight lack of sanity make him a deadly adversary and as a man who can single-handedly take down armies, you really shouldn’t mess with Rambo. If you’ve learned anything from the movies it’s that when you screw with Rambo you’ll need a good supply of body bags.


About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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