By: Kevin Berry
Ted Kotcheff’s rendition of the novel First Blood, written by David Morrell, is a
dark depiction of a Vietnam Veteran who has lost his identity and defaults back to
his military training throughout the movie. He keeps having flashbacks that haunt
him and control decisions he makes while evading law enforcement.
John Rambo, played by renowned actor Sylvester Stallone, starts the movie walking around a wooded area
looking for an old war buddy’s home. His depression with the war starts here as he
finds out that his friend has passed away. Later, he is waking towards Hope,
Washington and Officer Teasle spots him to try to give him a lift through town.
Rambo is very primitive and ill mannered towards Teasle but yet he still follows his
directions to get into the car. After many scenes of altercations, Teasle takes
Rambo into the police station and writes him up for a few infractions. Rambo takes
abuse from many of the officers. These officers remind him of the abuse he took as a
prisoner of war. In one scene when he is being forced to shower and shave, Rambo
loses it and breaks his way out of the jailhouse and escapes. He runs out the front
door and commandeers a motorcycle from a civilian out riding. This leads into a
chase scene between Rambo and Teasle. Teasle chases after him in a police cruiser.
The motorcycle Rambo rides is an off road style bike. Riding through town with
Teasle on Rambo’s back, Rambo decides that it would be best to make use of the off
road bike and cut through farms and woods. After Teasle tries to push his car to its
limits off roads, it slides down a slick embankment and rolls as Rambo continues
into deeper forest.
The rest of the movie is a manhunt for Rambo. Using his military
expertise, he injures and evades all of the officials after him. He takes his
revenge on the town of Hope by burning half of it and firing his gun at multiple
buildings. The movie concludes by Rambo’s old commanding officer, Colonel Samuel
Trautmen, talking Rambo out of killing Teasle and saving the town from more
Overall, the movie is an amazing action thriller. You get a great since
of how the war affected many soldiers and how life was for “drifters” or “hippies”
back in the seventies. Seeing life out side of war from a veteran’s perspective
gives the watcher great insight on how difficult coming back can be. I would highly
recommend this movie.
Works Cited Morrell, David, and Mickael Kozoll. First Blood.
Ted Kotcheff. 1982. Orion Pictures Corporation, 1983. Lions Gate Home Entertainment,
Reviewer: Longhorn Reviewer