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.