Thursday, September 10, 2015

Film Review: Rambo: First Blood (1982)

Rambo: First Blood (Review)
United States/1982
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...brimming with action coated in a thrilling sense of adventure."

After learning of the death of a comrade, Vietnam War veteran John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) finds himself in the crosshairs of a bitter sheriff...

Rambo: First Blood is a rather simple film. The story follows our titular character, John Rambo — a scarred but tranquil war veteran looking to get by. When he's harassed by Sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy) and the authorities of this quiet town, Rambo loses control. His war flashbacks cause him to pummel the police and escape into the woods. Fortunately, Rambo is special forces and a survival expert, so he has the upper hand — something Teasle refuses to admit. What ensues is an action-packed game of cat-and-mouse. I liked the climax of the film and Rambo's final speech adds some needed character, but the ending was a bit abrupt.

Rambo: First Blood is a superb film. It's brimming with action coated in a thrilling sense of adventure. It only takes a few minutes until this film catapults you into this vicious game of cat-and-mouse and it is incredibly satisfying. The chase scenes, the heart-pounding hide-and-seek, and the bang-and-boom are all splendid. If you love action films, First Blood does not disappoint — unless you're expecting something with big-budget computer graphics. Early on, I was constantly hoping for more background on Rambo, though. Fortunately, this minor issue is somewhat remedied by the finale. The mystery surrounding his troubled character really isn't bad, either.

The acting was very good. Sylvester Stallone does very well as the titular character — he was really born for the role. Brian Dennehy was also great. The film looked fantastic. I loved the cinematography and camerawork. The music also helped create the mood of the film without interfering — the end credits are exactly what you're expecting from an 80s flick, though. Director Ted Kotcheff crafts an epic film in 90 minutes using meticulously-crafted and varied action sequences, superb pacing, and excellent dialogue. Although I have not read the novel, Michael Kozoll, William Sackheim, and Sylvester Stallone pen a very strong screenplay.

Overall, Rambo: First Blood is an epic film. It's filled with unforgettable action scenes and dialogue that have ultimately crafted an iconic character. If you're looking for something action-packed and adventurous, this film is for you. Don't miss it.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, some partial nudity.

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