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John Rambo: War Vet To Prisoner. First Blood

1375 words - 6 pages

In an age where Hollywood blockbusters mainly consist of remakes, sequels, mediocre comedies, action films focused more on computer-generated effects than more genuine effects, and horror films relying more on jump scares than suspense, I personally side with older films, particularly those released a couple of decades ago. When someone is asked about their favorite movie, many people's favorites will have been made in the 1980s, including Star Wars Episode V, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, and Die Hard. For me, one of my favorite films is the 1982 release First Blood, starring Sylvester Stallone. This movie was the first and most critically acclaimed film in the series, as the following sequels and remakes have met with negative critical reception, mostly because they focused more on how many objects can be blown up within the running time than of a coherent plot or a cast of interesting characters. From reading the general consensus at the Rotten Tomatoes review for First Blood, the critics involved share my sentiment that it is a “much darker, more sensitive film than the sequels it spawned” ("First Blood (Rambo: First Blood) - Rotten Tomatoes").
I only saw the movie once from a DVD rental at a Blockbuster store before it went out of business, but it left a lasting impression on me. As I remember, the film opens with Rambo, a Vietnam War hero who won the Congressional Medal of Honor, walking to the small town of Hope after finding out that a friend of his has died of cancer due to exposure to the wartime herbicide known as Agent Orange. He returns home only to find that he's being mistreated by the sheriff, later getting arrested. Meanwhile, we see that Rambo was tortured in a Vietnamese prisoner of war (POW) camp, and he gets flashbacks to those moments while he gets harassed and brutalized at the police station. Finally, when the policemen attempt to shave his face, he snaps, escapes the police station, hijacks a motorcycle, and what follows is a decent chase scene between Rambo's motorcycle and the sheriff's police car, eventually resulting in the sheriff's car falling from a cliff and capsizing. What followed is a battle in the Washington mountains between the local police department, the State Patrol, and even the National Guard. Rather than using brute force and massive firepower, Rambo relies on stealth, improvised traps, and his experience as a Green Beret to evade his pursuers. After he is assumed dead after a National Guard soldier blows up a mine entrance with a rocket launcher, he hijacks a military truck and returns to the town. After a fight scene at the police station, he meets his commanding officer, Colonel Trautman, while the police surround the building, with roughly 200 men and a lot of M16 assault rifles with them. He then gave an emotional speech unlike many action films at the time, and also to this day, involving how he was a hero in the Army and cannot land a job at home, and he reveals a gruesome and sobering...

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