John Rambo, a returning Vietnam Green Beret, finds trouble in his Washington home where the local cops harass and brutalize him. Finally, John can't take it anymore, and runs into the woods. Using his training, he survives and forces the National Guard to try and quell this restless soldier.
The film's original ending had Rambo committing suicide. This ending didn't test well, so it was changed to one where Rambo surrendered into custody.