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First Blood Review

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First Blood Review
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Ted Kotcheff’s rendition of the novel First Blood, written by David Morrell, is a
dark depiction of a Vietnam Veteran who has lost his identity and defaults back to
his military training throughout the movie. He keeps having flashbacks that haunt
him and control decisions he makes while evading law enforcement.

John Rambo, played by renowned actor Sylvester Stallone, starts the movie walking around a wooded area
looking for an old war buddy’s home. His depression with the war starts here as he
finds out that his friend has passed away. Later, he is waking towards Hope,
Washington and Officer Teasle spots him to try to give him a lift through town.
Rambo is very primitive and ill mannered towards Teasle but yet he still follows his
directions to get into the car. After many scenes of altercations, Teasle takes
Rambo into the police station and writes him up for a few infractions. Rambo takes
abuse from many of the officers. These officers remind him of the abuse he took as a
prisoner of war. In one scene when he is being forced to shower and shave, Rambo
loses it and breaks his way out of the jailhouse and escapes. He runs out the front
door and commandeers a motorcycle from a civilian out riding. This leads into a
chase scene between Rambo and Teasle. Teasle chases after him in a police cruiser.

The motorcycle Rambo rides is an off road style bike. Riding through town with
Teasle on Rambo’s back, Rambo decides that it would be best to make use of the off
road bike and cut through farms and woods. After Teasle tries to push his car to its
limits off roads, it slides down a slick embankment and rolls as Rambo continues
into deeper forest.

The rest of the movie is a manhunt for Rambo. Using his military
expertise, he injures and evades all of the officials after him. He takes his
revenge on the town of Hope by burning half of it and firing his gun at multiple
buildings. The movie concludes by Rambo’s old commanding officer, Colonel Samuel
Trautmen, talking Rambo out of killing Teasle and saving the town from more

Overall, the movie is an amazing action thriller. You get a great since
of how the war affected many soldiers and how life was for “drifters” or “hippies”
back in the seventies. Seeing life out side of war from a veteran’s perspective
gives the watcher great insight on how difficult coming back can be. I would highly
recommend this movie.

Works Cited Morrell, David, and Mickael Kozoll. First Blood.
Ted Kotcheff. 1982. Orion Pictures Corporation, 1983. Lions Gate Home Entertainment,
2006. DVD.

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Kevin Berry
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First Blood Movie Review

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First Blood Movie Review
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When I started watching First Blood I was ready for cheesy one-liners and
horrible 80’s special effects. One of the attributes that sets this movie apart from
most action flicks from the 80’s and 90’s is that it lacked those stupid one-liners
that movie directors think are the cherry on top and the action was believable.
Rambo was very reticent and let his training and guerilla warfare do the talking.
When Rambo did speak, he spoke in a reserved manner and never used more words than
necessary. A prime example is when Rambo has his hunting knife to Sheriff Teasle’s
throat, “I could have killed 'em all, I could kill you. In town you're the law, out
here it's me. Don't push it. Don't push it or I'll give you a war you won't believe.
Let it go. Let it go.”

For a movie where only one man dies there was a lot of action
throughout the entire movie. In the beginning, Rambo punches his way through an
entire police station and steals a dirt bike to escape town. The chase scene in this
movie was really intense. The jumps Rambo did on the bike actually looked believable
and he popped wheelies all the time. I also think it is worthy to note that the
editors forgot to crop out a ramp used to create one of the jumps and you can see it
as Rambo goes over some railroad tracks. He then sets brilliant and painful traps
throughout the forest and disables the police force that he fought through earlier,
this time one dies. At the end of the movie he wreaks havoc upon the hostile town by
blowing up buildings and setting everything on fire.

Like all movies though, this
one did have a few drawbacks. One of my major problems with the movie was the
portrayal of the police officers and National Guard. While they are portrayed as
nasty individuals in the book, the movie took the hostile nature of them to an
extreme level. They all show a blatant disregard for any protocol, which in the
police or military would not be tolerated at all. They show a disregard for human
life in that they all seem to want to just kill Rambo and be done with him quickly.
Furthermore, in the book, we are told that Sheriff Teasle is a Korean War vet and
this explains his ego and persistence in capturing Rambo. In the movie, we just see
Brian Dennehy and his uncanny ability to be a self-righteous jerk without any
explanation. The other major problem I had with the movie was Rambo’s rant at the
end about how unfair life has been to him and how he is treated like scum back at
home. The dialogue I thought was pretty poor and Stallone really cannot create a
character for which I can feel pity or empathy.

Overall this was a fantastic movie,
I enjoyed as much as, if not more than, the Schwarzenegger movies I grew up watching
as a kid. The movie had memorable moments and memorable (not cheesy) lines.

Author/Artist/Director of Item Being Reviewed: 
Ted Kotcheff
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