Considering that John Rambo’s fighting prowess is based on “higher than average human musculature”, combined with a deep ingrained tactical and strategic knowledge of the dynamics of both organized and guerilla military forces based solely on Earth, that he might have a very hard time dealing with the Predator.
Given a scenario as depicted in the original film, it is likely that John Rambo would’ve most closely resembled the decision-making processes and final outcomes of either Billy Sole (Sonny Landham), or Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer (Arnold Schwarzenegger). Essentially, winning the battle would be dependent on how much intelligence he can gather before a final showdown, since the Predator behaves unlike any earthbound enemy he’s ever faced.
Still… “in the jungle” provides us with a lot of flexibility… What if, instead of the Predator visiting Earth, we view things from a scenario like that of the more recent movie Predators – John Rambo is abducted from Earth, to battle on an alien world with/against other humans and predator factions.
In that scenario, Rambo would have a greater chance of understanding his “fish out of water” status, and switching to a primarily survival-based evasion tactic long enough to allow for a greater reconnoiter of the situation. While it’s highly unlikely that such a scenario even has a true “victory” condition – how do you get back home to Earth, for one thing – it’s probable that he would last longer, and possibly take out a greater number of Predators before being brought down.
The summary is simple: despite appearances, John Rambo is a seasoned soldier who depends on good military intelligence and tactical support to conduct a successful campaign. Getting either of those during an encounter in which a Predator set the rules of the game is highly unlikely…
But he wouldn’t be (in his younger days, anyway) a bad choice to put on a team of humans who knew what they were facing from the very start. In fact, mightn’t that be the perfect “epic win” solution for the plot to Expendables II? Not all of the badass action icons of the 80s were actors, after all… 🙂
This answer originally appeared on Quora: