RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART I
With FIRST BLOOD, the first of the "Rambo" series, Sylvester Stallone again achieved the very heights of Hollywood, creating a character that would define the genre in an action film that has been seldom equalled let alone surpassed.
When he arrests John Rambo, Congressional Medal of Honor winner and Vietnam War hero, for vagrancy. Police Chief Teasle (the great Brian Dennehy) sets death, disaster and catastrophe in motion. Reacting ferociously to the harassment of Teasle's deputies, Rambo breaks out of jail, steals a motorbike and takes to the forested hills. What the pursuing Teasle and his fellow cops fail to realise is that Rambo, an expert in guerilla warfare, is now in his element. Who is hunting whom takes an unexpected and vicious turn as the fight becomes very, very personal. Rambo, the man who just wants to go home, relies on his skill and training as the bad guys come on, all guns blazing. Not even the arrival of Green Beret Colonel Sam Trautman (Richard Crenna), the man who personally trained Rambo, can prevent the final showdown between sheriff and former super soldier. Delivering slam as well as bang for its buck, FIRST BLOOD succeeds thanks to an incredible performance by Stallone (who finally puts the lid on any doubts as to his acting ability by giving his character depth as well as muscles), buttoned-down direction by Ted Kotcheff and the spectacular forest backdrop.
With its high quota of excitement and tension FIRST BLOOD appeals to any red-blooded action fan. While those who also need some thought to go with it can sit back and savour the allegory of the alienated Vietnam veteran returning to rejection and misunderstanding. Sylvester Stallone was Hollywood's highest paid star in the 1980s. FIRST BLOOD is the reason why.