Rambo: First Blood – Review (DVD)

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It’s nice to be able to watch a ‘classic’ film for the first time and be old enough to appreciate it.

I remember watching countless 18 rated films from the age of 15 upwards – Robocop, Alien, Friday The 13th (the later parts :smile:) and many more besides. Whether it was down to my friends or my own taste at the time, none of them were war/army films.

So I know I have a lot of catching up to do over the years and this started at the weekend with a DVD viewing of Sylvester Stallone in Rambo: First Blood.

As an aside one quick comment on how amazing this looked (for such an old film) on the PS3’s DVD Upscaler. As my friend said, I can’t imagine it would be much better on Blu-Ray.

The film itself was a pleasant surprise. My knowledge of Rambo consists of seeing trailers and paradies in other films so I was expecting a bullet-fest with Rambo taking on all comers.

What I got was the story of a war veteran clearly struggling to adapt to life after the conflict. Realising he is the only one to have survived in his squad (not all were killed in battle, one of the men died from cancer (albeit contracted in action) upon his return) it’s a chance meeting with local sheriff Will Teasle that triggers the events that see John Rambo go on the offensive.

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The sheriff tries to escort Rambo out of the town because they don’t want drifters or vagrants settling in the town. He gives him a lift to the edge of town and tells him to be on his way.

Rambo pays him no heed and heads straight back towards town and Teasle arrests him. During his initial incarcaration the brutal treatment by the police officers sees Rambo (in full post traumatic stress disorder mode) flashback to ‘Nam and beat his way out of the station to make his escape.

The story continues with the police hunting Rambo through the local forest and a great final battle back in the town.

One of the things I liked best about this film was the restraint of the main character. Rambo seemed reluctant to actually kill anyone – instead setting up traps to incapacitate them.

Another plus point was the awesome Brian Dennehy as Will Teasle – Dennehy, in my opinion, is a fantastic actor.

The story was well written and John Rambo was played well by Sylvester Stallone as a troubled man – a killing machine who suddenly finds himself with no purpose back in ‘civilsed’ society.

I really enjoyed Rambo: First Blood, it was genuinely surprising for me to get a great, well crafted story when I was expecting gun fluff nonsense and a high body count.

Rating: 8/10

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3 Comments

  1. Love this blog I’ll be back when I have more time.

  2. Awesome film. I love the music that accompanies the credits. So unabashedly patriotic its untrue.

    Have you watched the others yet? I need to see the newest incarnation. The two others are ok, their stories lack the same punch, but action wise they do well.

    • Haven’t seen the others yet – gonna space them out over a few months… don’t want to get ‘rambo-ed’ out. Such a good film.


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