2 hours ago
🚨First Blood🚨begins the re-viewing of all 'Rambo' films. 'Last Blood' releases in several weeks. So here is the film that redefined Stallone's career.
This film was first a novel released in the early 70s. Columbia Pictures and Warner Brothers both attempted to crack the story, but nothing was sticking. Actors such as De Niro, Clint Eastwood, and Steve McQueen were considered. After almost a decade of not moving forward on any idea, Carolco Pictures bought the rights.
Stallone was first choice to play John Rambo as he realized that his star was fading. Stallone also did many rewrites on one of the eighteen scripts.
Vietnam-Green Beret-Veteran and drifter, John Rambo, wanders into a small town only to find trouble. The Sheriff arrests Rambo for no reason other than he doesn't like drifters in his little town. Rambo is then abused while in jail, which triggers his PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) from Vietnam POW (Prisoner of War) camps. Rambo escapes the jail and flees into the woods. Upon doing so, he accidentally kills one of the deputies and begs the police to let him go because he did not do anything to begin with. "They drew first blood." With the military on the way, Rambo must survive.
Due to the ostentatious nature of the sequels, Rambo has been remembered more as an action hero than a character. This film is perfect, not because it's a great action film, but perfect because the action is in-service to a larger conversation about trauma. Especially from war veterans.
This film was very controversial for Stallone because he was playing an antihero character. However, because we are given backstory about who he is, we understand his motivation for fighting back against the Sheriff. If this film was told from the Sheriff's point-of-view, we would understand his motivation as well. There is no clear antagonist in the film which lends itself to a better story. This is especially important because many would view a war-veteran as delusional if one did any of what Rambo was doing. The whole purpose of the film is understanding what these people went through during war and it's done through the character of Rambo. (Continued in the comments...)