To his Mum he's John, to his Dad simply J, but to the rest of us, this one man fighting machine is known only as... Rambo. Based on David Morrell's Novel, and directed by Ted Kotcheff, First Blood sees Rambo back from Vietnam and searching; searching for answers. Rambo has become a vagabond, a Green Beret in a country that doesn't care and doesn't want him there.
First Blood is Kotcheff's Reaganite response to High Noon, just as Rio Bravo was for Howard Hawks, only this time we have moved forward 30 years and small town America isn't like it use to be. Brian Dennehy stars as the Sheriff Will Teasle, hell bent on keeping the peace being Gary Cooper. But this is post-Vietnam Reagan era film making, the establishment can no longer be Gary Cooper, the Establishment turned into Lee Van Cleef. Rambo is the one man army; he doesn't want to kill, he doesn't want to be pushed around, he just wants to eat. But the Sheriff and his establishment soon find out what happens when you stop a wild animal from eating and this is where Rambo replaces small town America for Small town Vietnam.
After some one-sided scuffles we realise the Establishment can't handle the starving beast, the beast who seeks peace. So an unwanted visitor arrives, promises to help, knows Rambo inside out, taught him everything he knows, can put the beast back on the straight -and-narrow, in comes Colonel Samuel Trautman; but in classic fashion they don't want to listen to Uncle Sam, small town Vietnam can handle their own problems and small town Vietnam want to handle their own problems. The small town forgot it was Uncle Sam who created Rambo and its Uncle Sam who must stop Rambo.
First Blood is action, it's gung ho, it's sentimental and at times it's absurd but it is Rambo at his best. Before Afghanistan and Burma, before the pen was truly replaced by the sword and Rambo became invincible, First Blood is a great tonic to these heady times. Sit back, enjoy and watch Uncle Sam control his beast.