First Blood

Why didn’t anyone tell me Rambo was so good?  Admittedly, being a girl, I’m probably not part of the core target audience, but this was good!  First Blood or Rambo: First Blood depending on your source, sees Sylvester Stallone as damaged Vietnam veteran, John Rambo.  Struggling to adjust to civilian life after the war, we see him arrested for vagrancy by the uptight sheriff (played by Brian Dennehy) of a small backwater town.

Rambo freaks out when the sheriff and his overzealous minions get a bit handsy with him and does a runner, up into the mountains.  From here on in it gets a bit unbelievable.  The sheriff and co. are in hot pursuit of Rambo, calling in the National Guard to track down a man who was only arrested in the first place because the sheriff took a dislike to his appearance.

Of course Rambo is able to kick their collective arses in spite being massively out numbered and out gunned.  Hurrah for Rambo!

Ready to kick arse!

Ready to kick arse!

There is also a serious side to what could’ve been just a dumb action film, though.  Rambo is a deeply damaged human being.  His experiences in the Vietnam war left him unable to reintegrate into society, he’s got a pretty major case of PTSD, by the look of it, and is just left to fend for himself.  There’s a surprisingly moving scene towards the end where he breaks down and explains his plight.

Throughout most of the film there’s little in the way of dialogue from Stallone, but he still manages to make you care about the character.  You’re on his side, you’re cheering him on.  You want Rambo to win, to get away, to live a good life.  Now, I readily confess that I’ve never thought Sly was a particularly good actor, and even here, his drawling speech makes it hard to fully understand him at times, but he really is kind of good as Rambo.

Score: 8/10

Just check out this awesome trailer.

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5 responses to “First Blood

  1. hah! your thoughts about this film are pretty amusing. I just watched Apocalypse Now for the first time yesterday and was quite surprised by how much I really liked it.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment. Apocalypse Now is on my list of films I really should watch, I just keep putting it off. I did see The Deer Hunter for the first time recently though, and liked it, so maybe I should just crack on!

  2. Glad to read your views, I agree with all you say. Because of the gung-ho nature of the sequels, a lot of the good things about First Blood have either been forgotten, or mis-remembered.

    • I totally had the wrong idea about it, I must have heard things over the years, because this is the first Rambo film I’ve seen. Might swerve the others, though…

      • There are things to enjoy in Rambo: First Blood Part II, despite it’s obvious stupidity. It’s a bit of a cartoon. Rambo III is just plain awful. He’s helping the Taliban fight the Russians. Strange world. The fourth one, simply titled ‘Rambo’ feels totally divorced in tone to the others. I think I was one of the few people alive to like it.

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