I was never a big fan of Sylvester Stallone.  I didn’t hate him, but I didn’t get it either. His movies came out when I was a kid so all I saw was an impossibly muscled dude who wears bullets like a shirt.

Both the Rocky and Rambo series have been shown on TV a thousand times so I’ve definitely seen them, but until recently I hadn’t actually watched them in one sitting. Months ago after enjoying Rocky 1 I added the entire Rambo series to my Netflix cue and First Blood arrived the other day.

I knew going in that this was a character piece that delves into the mind of a man pushed too far.  Just like the original DieHard it was never designed to spin off into an action franchise, but I was surprised to find how much action was actually in this film, and how innocent Rambo actually was.

When I was a kid I could never understand how a guy that runs around killing and maiming cops would ever be rehired by the military, even if sent on suicide missions the public would want him in prison. The sheriff drawing first blood would not justify his actions and it would ruin him in the public eye.

Watching it now I see that the only death happens early on and the rest of the time Rambo makes it clear that he could kill them but is choosing not to. Once reports and interviews from all involved are gathered it would be pretty clear this guy was doing his best to contain the situation and from that public sympathy could be gathered.

This sets up the sequel really well because although he should and does go to prison, the investigation would show that responsibility is shared with the sheriff and that could sway public opinion greatly.

That would give Col Trautman the leverage he needed to convince his superiors that John Rambo was the perfect person to prove that there were no POWs left in Vietnam; the public knows he has the skills and would stop at nothing to free them, so if he says there was nothing it would be pretty definitive.

In fact, I don’t know why they made a part two, there are no POWs so this is going to be a pretty boring movie, right?

… anyway this is a good film that I had really under rated, I’m looking forward to seeing the others to see how they match up to my memory and then finally watching Rambo 4 for the very first time.