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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Superb psychological thriller

Author: detuxin from United States
27 July 2006

Many people fail to notice how important this landmark film is when exploring subjects like intolerance and police sadism. John Rambo gave his life for his country and in turn his country not just treated him like a piece of crap but also tainted him. The intolerance and preconceived notions of certain folk, their unwillingness to hear Rambo out, and his subsequent vilification after the death of one policeman purely do to self defense, are portrayed excellently within this film. So do not mistake this film for brainless action. The attitude of the people in the movie is truly disturbing. While the next two Rambo movies do not have such a psychological factor, they do succeed as the greatest action films of all time.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Quick Reviews!!

Author: malkane316 from NI
16 November 2004

Seen by many as just another mindless action flick, this goes deeper than most films of its kind. Yes, it is a classic 'one man army' movie, and although i feel its sequel deals more with the disillusionment of veterans, it is an effective look at a man trained only to kill-destroyed by his government, forgotten by his people. Small town exclusiveness, fear and small-mindedness are exploited to the full, and if you give it a chance, this is actually a highly satirical movie. But if you want to see explosions, guns and killings, which is what first brought me to this film, then you can't find many better.

Stallone dispatches of the 'bad guys' using every inch of his Rambo's training, and yes, from the start you know the cops don't have a hope. The few roles which call for any substantial acting are done well, the action is of a high quality, the music is memorable, and the script sufficient. if you want deep characterisation then watch The Deer Hunter, but for action, watch this. 8 out of 10

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Sylvester Stallone's best movie ever!

Author: colm-hearne365 from Ireland
9 October 2015

I loved this action flick and I'm not even a big fan of Sylvester Stallone (I prefer Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger). I mean the only movies that I like by him are this, the first Rocky and The Expendables (particularly the second one). But if Stallone starred in movies more like First Blood than just cheesy action movies more about violence than a story, I would watch them more.

It tells the story of John Rambo, a veteran who is a former member of elite group of soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War. He is still traumatized from his war experience and doesn't have a home or any friends (since all the other elite solders are dead). Sheriff Teasle then arrests him for vagrancy. But when things get out of hand, Rambo flees and starts terrorizing everything that stands in his path (even without killing them). But his former commander, Colonel Sam Trautman tries to talk some sense into him and stop from what he's doing.

Not only is this one of Stallone's best movies, but it also helped the launch of action movies during the '80s like The Terminator or Die Hard or Lethal Weapon. But I think it's pretty underrated as well, I mean it didn't even get one Oscar nomination. And in this, we actually see Stallone give a big emotional speech about Rambo's hatred for war and watching his friend die right in front of him.

If only Rambo had died (which is what happens in the book) we probably wouldn't have the silly and unnecessary sequels that have nothing much to do with the original

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The movie that introduced us to John Rambo.

Author: The Grand Master from Australia
2 May 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's hard to believe when First Blood was released in 1982, this movie would spawn three sequels and cement the character John Rambo as a cultural icon. Rambo would also be a term used to symbolise a reckless person who solves problems with violence. First Blood would also prove to be a successful movie for Sylvester Stallone and adds another famous character to his filmography, alongside Rocky Balboa from the Rocky series.

The film starts with John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone), a Vietnam Veteran who is drifting across America to locate a former Vietnam buddy. He is saddened when he finds out that his friend died of cancer after being exposed to Agent Orange. Rambo passes through a small town called Hope, Washington where he is met by the town's Sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy). Sheriff Teasle arrogantly proclaims his dislike for drifters and troublemakers in his town and automatically perceives Rambo as a drifter due to his unkempt appearance and his old Army jacket. Teasle drives Rambo to the edge of town and refuses to let Rambo buy something to eat. Angered that Teasle has insulted Rambo, Rambo defiantly turns around and starts walking back. Teasle spots Rambo and arrests him for vagrancy, resisting arrest and carrying a concealed weapon (his knife). While in custody, Rambo is beaten and humiliated by Deputy Art Galt (Jack Starrett) while the rest of the deputies such as Mitch (David Caruso), Ward (Chris Mulkey), and Preston (Don Mackay) are either too weak, ignorant or even partake in Rambo's mistreatment. This also causes Rambo to have flashbacks to his time as a POW in Vietnam where he is captured and tortured. Rambo then snaps and violently lashes out at the deputies, assaulting them. He manages to escape from police custody with his knife and heads for the nearby mountains on a motorbike he has commandeered. Teasle spearheads a manhunt to find John Rambo. Little do they know, John Rambo is a highly decorated Green Beret who is an expert in survival and guerrilla warfare and the deputies have taken on a lot more than they bargained for. The situation deteriorates and the Washington State Police and National Guard are brought in to assist in the manhunt. Also joining in is Rambo's former commander in Vietnam, Colonel Sam Trautman (Richard Crenna), who's warnings about Rambo as well as pleas to let him go fall on deaf ears. Colonel Trautman finds himself to be Rambo's only ally and must convince Rambo to surrender. Rambo maintains that the sheriff drew first blood and continues his one man war through Hope, symbolically waging war against society who has turned his back on him.

Although Sylvester Stallone has endured a mixed reception with the Rambo series, without a doubt First Blood is one of the best movies of the series as well as one of Stallone's best movies. The rest of the sequels, although enjoyable, turn John Rambo into a one-dimensional action hero and as a symbol for the person who can wage a one-man war on the enemy. Sylvester Stallone has never been better.

Brian Dennehy does an excellent job as the overzealous and arrogant Sheriff Will Teasle who although wants to maintain a boring and peaceful town, has bitten off more than he could chew by looking down upon John Rambo as just another drifter and dismissing all warnings from Colonel Trautman on how dangerous Rambo is.

Richard Crenna is perfect in his role as Colonel Sam Trautman, an honourable and respectable man who has taken on an unofficial role as a father figure to John Rambo.

While there is a lot of action scenes that have become famous (or infamous) throughout the Rambo series, the ending where Rambo pours his heart out to Trautman has remained imprinted into my memory. Rambo rages about the horrors of the Vietnam War and the unfair conditions and treatment he came home to where he and many other soldiers were abused and spat on by protesters as well as the inability to adapt to civilian life let alone hold a job. As Rambo says he was a respected war hero in the Army with loyal comrades and be responsible for million dollar equipment, back home he can't hold a job and nobody respects him . Rambo weeps as he recounts a gruesome incident where a friend was blown up which still haunts him. Rambo is revealed to be a broken man suffering from the effects of PTSD and his mistreatment at the hands of the sheriff's deputies pushed him over the edge. I'll never forget Trautman fighting to hold his own emotions back as he consoles Rambo, both of them having gone through the same experiences and injustices of the Vietnam War.

Though First Blood was set in Hope, Washington, filming took place in Canada throughout the province of British Columbia and Hope, British Columbia is actually the name of the place filming occurred. The scenery featured in First Blood is beautiful, and the backdrop was perfect for the movie.

I've always admired Jerry Goldsmith's works as a composer and his score was an absolute delight to listen too. His score gives the movie an energetic and thrilling feel, yet there are times his score emphasizes the tranquility of certain scenes, particularly the opening of the movie.

First Blood is also notable for being the Rambo movie in the series with a body count of one, unlike the rest of the movies in the series notable for high on-screen deaths.

First Blood is still an enjoyable action movie today, and easily one of the best Rambo movies. It's also not just a one dimensional action movie with well rounded characters and a great story. First Blood is also one of Sylvester Stallone's best movies besides Rocky (1976) and Cop Land (1997). A definite must see movie for all lovers of action and fans of Sylvester Stallone.


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

An action film with a message and a purpose.

Author: DamianThorn from United States
9 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a film that just about anyone, of any generation or gender should understand. It's a story that's simple yet so solid it draws you in and has you on the edge of your seat, then leaves you lamenting the pain of the films main character. A lone man, home from a war that nobody understood, hated and despised by the people who should have welcomed him home a hero.

Rambo finds himself alone, his friends all dead and gone, haunted by the horrors of Vietnam and left with nowhere to turn. One simple decision to enter a small town brings him face to face with a hard nosed bigoted Sheriff who insists on thrusting Rambo into a whole new war. A war on his home soil and a war that will certainly lead to his death, but Rambo sees no other choice. With no way out, nowhere to turn and no idea how to ever really "go home", Rambo decides to make his last stand.

This is a film that speaks volumes to just about anyone willing to listen. It speaks to the pain and torment of those sent off to war, those who feel like outsiders no matter where they are and those who just want to be left alone to live in peace but always feel as though society just won't let them do it. From the comments about how Rambo wears his hair to the remarks about his jacket, just about everyone can identify with some part of this character. The hard nosed Sheriff (played brilliantly by Brian Dennehy) is a character practically everyone has run into in their lives. Be it a cop, a teacher, a coach or even a father figure we've all met or known this type of jackass. The type that can never look past the surface to stop and think maybe there's a reason a person looks the way they look and maybe a little understanding and compassion would be better than a firm hand or outright violence.

Regardless, like many of us Rambo try's to move on peacefully. Try's to co-operate and even almost begs for an end to the rapidly escalating situation being pushed by the Sheriff. Other characters in the film, other police officers and even Colonel Trautmen (Rambos former commanding officer) all try to diffuse the situation as it gets worse and worse but the Sheriff just refuses to back down.

The movie is so well written, so well paced and so well put together that by ten minutes in, your already on Rambos side and by the end that certainly doesn't change. I can't express enough how in love with this film I am. Stallone shines as Rambo, Dennehy and Crenna (Colonel Trautmen) are amazing in their roles and I quite seriously couldn't complain about a single part of this film. The musical score is brilliant and the theme song to the movie played during the films final moments reaches into your heart and grips it tightly. The filming locations are astonishingly perfect as well and the direction and editing are simply top notch.

People can argue whether or not the war in Vietnam was justified and whether or not the world had any business trying to stop a communist takeover of South Vietnam. But the one thing no one should ever argue is whether or not our soldiers are to blame. They fought that war because they were told it was justified. They fought that war because they wanted to defend the innocent and defeat the evil of communism. In many cases they fought because they were drafted and had no choice and then, even when they could have won they weren't allowed to because the war wasn't publicly popular anymore. Many of those soldiers never came home, countless died on the battlefield and countless more were taken prisoner, tortured to death or held in prison camps never to be seen or heard from again. As the story of Rambo points out, even those that came home never really did. They came back forever traumatized facing a hostile public, no jobs, no work skills and next to nothing in their pockets. It's a sad, disgusting state of affairs that we've seen repeated again with the Afghanistan and Iraq wars of our times.

I apologize if I'm getting off track and perhaps emotional, but it's an issue that touches me deeply for several reasons that I won't go into here but I felt the need to express myself in this review. This is not only a fantastic action film but it's also a touching portrait of the living hell that a soldier goes through, not only during a war but after and more often than not for the rest of their lives.

To lighten up a little, this is quite simply a dam good movie that certainly should appeal to any guy and a lot of women as well. It's just an all around great action movie loaded with drama and some amazingly poignant moments. I have a collection of movie memorabilia and in amongst it are the knives from First Blood and First Blood II. I own this film on DVD, BluRay and in digital format. I've watched it again and again and if all that doesn't tell you this is a good movie, just watch it for yourself. Ditch the rowdy friends for a night (you know the type I'm talking about) shut off the phone and just sit down and take this film in, uninterrupted and let yourself feel every moment. I seriously defy you to dislike it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The anti-rocky

Author: breakdownthatfilm-blogspot-com from United States
19 May 2014

If there's one character that Sylvester Stallone will always be remembered for besides Rocky Balboa, that's this guy - John Rambo. The character of John Rambo may be an exaggeration of what kind of a struggle many war veterans live through everyday after being combat, but it represents them in a way that allows the audience to have sympathy. No matter how well decorated a war veteran is, if they suffered a traumatic event, it will never leave them. The memory will replay over and over again until their very last day. For most, the event is only strong enough to physically paralyze the veteran leaving them immobilized. However, there are some that suffer from and still can live and move around with it in their subconscious. John Rambo is one these and unfortunately, he gets pushed to far.

After arriving into a small town to visit a war buddy, John Rambo (Stallone) is pressed by the local sheriff (Brian Dennehy) to keep moving and not return. This however, makes Rambo become defiant and return back to the town, resulting in his immediate arrest. Things only get worse once in the sheriff's building, where Rambo is treated like the worst criminal they've had in the last century. To be honest, I think they were bored - but they picked the wrong person to be bored with. With all the instigating, John Rambo is finally pushed too far with many of his memories replaying over and over. It's at this point he breaks free and begins to fight for himself as if he was back in the war.

Stallone's acting is great here. His doesn't say very much for a lot of the movie but when he does, his emotions portray an accurate description of what post traumatic stress victims have to deal with on a daily basis. Also, he gives audiences a better understanding of what it's like to be a soldier and then return to world that's totally opposite from what one is used to and how alienating it can be. Brian Dennehy as the obsessive town sheriff is also convincing because of his stance on drifters. His mindset is understood but his morals aren't up to par. Yet Dennehy's character still isn't fleshed out enough. His motives are given some explanation too but not entirely.

Attempting to help the sheriff understand who he's up against is Colonel Trautman played by Richard Crenna. One of the best things about Crenna's character is how he understands John Rambo and is able to see anything coming before the rest of the authorities. Crenna also has some very good lines. Let's also not forget (just for a little fun) that David Caruso (Horatio Caine - CSI: Miami) has a small part in here too. He's extremely young and is one of the better cops in the local town. He at least tries to give John Rambo the benefit of the doubt that he's not some punk off the street looking for trouble.

The action is fun to watch here too. Retaining gorilla warfare is an interesting trait to maintain. Don't forget those survival skills though, he's better than any boy scout I've seen. Adding to that is Andrew Laszlo's cinematography where he captures some very wide angle shots of the mountainous landscape of which Rambo must survive and live off of. Surprisingly though, Jerry Goldsmith's score isn't as prevalent as some may expect it to be. It's certainly constructed better than some of his previous scores, but it still lacks strong action cues besides its main theme for Rambo. It does carry emotion but not a tune that's extremely memorable. It's not bad though. Definitely an entertaining action film.

This is one heck of a survival film. It has big action and respectable performances that portray the psyche of war veterans with a perspective that many people today do not consider.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of my favorite action movies

Author: Sean Rajnert ( from United States
18 February 2014

This movie is one of my favorite action movies

The movie has a well told story of a drifter that came back from Vietnam. The police kick him out of a small town and that pissies him off so he starts a rebellion getting the whole police force involved. I really enjoyed this film, for the story, the action, the characters and the movie has an emotional touch. It's very rare in an action movie where the main character breaks down. The acting is really well done and then that music by Jerry Goldsmith is amazing, one of my favorite movie soundtracks. If you are gonna start watching the Rambo Series, start off with this one, it's a good watch. it's in my top 20-11 films

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Don't push it

Author: Jamie Spraggon from United Kingdom
29 January 2014

When, for no apparent reason, A small town police chief arrests a vagrant hitch-hiker. Little does her realise that he has set in motion, a catastrophic series of events. The vagrant in question is in fact John Rambo, congressional medal of honour winner and Vietnam war hero. Responding to the harassment of his captors with sudden ferociousness, Rambo makes a daring escape from the small time jail, steals a motorcycle and roars off to the shelter of the nearby mountains. As the manhunt begins Rambo is in his element preparing himself for a ONE MAN WAR.

This film stars: Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna & Brian Dennehy.

In my opinion this is a class film, Stallone is an absolutely fantastic actor(one of the best) and in this film Brian Dennehy was also fantastic in this film. I highly recommend this film to all you Stallone fans.

****/***** Very Good film

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The first of it's kind

Author: Tom Lauzon from London, England
23 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

John J. Rambo is a Vietnam veteran, medal of honor winner and last survivor of his group. Back in a small town in the USA he finds himself an enemy in his own land. Cornered by local police who hunt him down, while he hunts them. Little do they know they're hunting the hunter and messing with the wrong man who is ready to start a one man war.

This film was originally going to follow the novel and have Rambo killed by Trautman, the man who created him, trained him and led him into Vietnam as he becomes too savage to co-exist in the normal everyday life of society. This version was going to star Kirk Douglas as Trautman who kills Rambo. However, in the end the producers decided to have Rambo live to fight another day. As Rambo says himself, "Nothing is over, nothing!"

This film was the first major success of the film producers Vajna & Kassar and the Carolco company. They went on to produce the Rambo sequels, Red Heat, Lock Up, Total Recall, Terminator 2, Universal Soldier, Basic Instinct and Cliffhanger. The best of the 80's action hero's were influenced by the Rambo character and First Blood stands head above shoulders above the rest as the best and most original story. A very enjoyable action flick that kick started the 80's action revolution.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Its a long road.....

Author: Adam Sentiff ( from Houston, Texas
22 December 2013

John Rambo, ex-green beret and Vietnam veteran is a man in turmoil, having survived the hell's of war only to continue to fight the one still within him.

When fate brings him face to face with a overbearing and egotistical sheriff Will Teasle and his abusive deputies, a personal war is sparked. One in which Rambo intends to win; at any costs.

A powerful film, with tremendous action, and a riveting story, far more than a simple shoot em up, Stallone once again creates another iconic character, one in which has cemented itself in the conscious of society. Sparking three sequels and one of the finest action films with a truly gripping plot. First Blood is a fantastic movie with pure heart

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