Resolutions 2014: First Blood

first blood

Pilates: it’s a lot tougher than it looks.

It’s been a tidal wave of guest bloggers lately and I’m LOVING it! Seriously, you guys are making my job easy. Maybe I should just stop posting my own stuff altogether and leave it all to you beautiful, brilliant guests. It’s very tempting…but I will try, I think, to do something of my own this week. Probably. Haha. But for the time being, I have the awesome Miss Abbi here from Where the Wild Things Are–a wonderfully diverse blog with everything from film reviews to recipes to cute outfits. I highly recommend checking it out. Here’s Abbi’s take on First Blood!

There are a whole load of movies that everyone my age (just on the wrong side of 30) have seen that I haven’t. I blame it on just one thing, my parents being hardcore savers when I was a kid. Going to the movies was a kind of twice-a-year event during the school holidays; we didn’t own a VCR until I was thirteen, and when I left home at twenty-three, we still didn’t have cable. That means picking something for my resolution was quite challenging since there’s a whole pile of classics I haven’t seen.

In the end I decided to go with First Blood (1982), which I really thought was called Rambo. So that’s me starting on the back foot. I also didn’t realise that Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay…not just a, er, pretty face then.


Anyway First Blood is about John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone), a Vietnam vet who finds himself on the wrong side of the law when he wanders into a small town. Despite having done nothing but look a bit scruffy, he is arrested by the town sheriff, Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy), whose deputies take some pleasure in kicking the shiz out of a mostly mute Rambo. Unfortunately for them Rambo snaps, instinct takes over and he fights his way out heading for the hills. Unwilling to let things slide, Teasle launches a man-hunt but what he doesn’t know is that Rambo is green beret, trained to survive at all costs and eliminate anyone who gets in his way.

So there were things I liked about First Blood; the last five minutes where Rambo breaks down are probably the best five minutes of Stallone’s career and almost make it worth sitting through the rest of the film. I also thought the forest that he’d run off into looked amazing. I’d almost be willing to go camping there (and I don’t camp unless several major rock bands are involved). And the bit where he was trapped underground was cool and claustrophobic and exciting.

However, I couldn’t get my head around why the sheriff arrested Rambo in the first place. Maybe it’s because I have never lived in small-town America but surely you can’t just lock someone up because you think they look a bit weird? And then the manhunt undertaken to track down one obviously mentally ill drifter seemed like trying to crush an ant with a sledgehammer, especially before they became aware of his specialist training. My confusion about these elements kind of swamped some of the thematic nuances for me because there was obviously a parallel between the guerrilla Vietcong fighters Rambo had stood against in the past and the situation he now found himself in.


With just a little more exposition about Rambo’s past and possibly a little more motivation for the arrest in the first place Rambo could have been really great rather than just being for me kind of meh…

Was it a worthy resolution? Well I feel like I understand boys putting their ties around their heads at weddings a bit better now that I’ve seen it…but I can’t bring myself to give it more than a 2.5/5.

Well, sorry to hear it was a bit of a disappointment, Abbi, but thank you so much for an excellent review! Look out for some more guests this week, friends! 🙂

36 thoughts on “Resolutions 2014: First Blood

  1. Good job, Ladies!! If, for some reason, you ever got in the mood for more Rambo – check out the 4th in the series – just called RAMBO – it’s the best one of the bunch : ) (IMO)

  2. I enjoyed this film, but I can see why some people might not. I just viewed it as escapism, but realize common sense has to be left at the front door. Good job to the writer, and I think I may actually check that blog out sometime.

  3. Totally agree. Rambo is one of the most overrated movies going in. Eric is right though, the final Rambo is actually a really good piece of Vietnam cinema (and ironically really underrated).

  4. Great stuff Abbi, I love First Blood, you’re right about how great Stallone is at the end.

    I think the film was meant to be about how poorly treated Vietnam soldiers were when they came home. If police arrested people just for being scruffy then I would be screwed!

    • That definitely came across but I think a better job could have been done of it. Even a more clear conversation between Rambo and Teasle would have helped.

    • I think the concept really had something and Stallone os certainly capable of a performance so the whole thing feels like a wasted opportunity.

  5. Nice review Abbi.

    It’s been quite a while since I saw this, so maybe I need to revisit it again to refresh my memory a bit

    BTW, Cara’s Resolutions 2014 are AWESOME!!! Amazing idea!!

  6. Excellent work you two! Nicely done Abbi, I can’t recall if I have seen this, though I may have (my other half’s dad is obsessed with Stallone and Rocky and Rambo and all that stuff), but I can see why this may not have worked so well. Might look into it if I ever feel that future-father-in-law needs a Stallone run! 😛

    • I dated a guy for three years whose dad thought Chuck Norris and Steven Segal were the two greatest actors of all time. You are getting off lightly!

        • I don’t think it was his fault. They lived in an area of Johannesburg where the music before the movie started in their local cinema was, “Daar’s ‘n hoender wat ‘n eier nie can le nie.”

        • LOOOOOOOOOOOOL! I was about to say it sounds like something that is typical of South Africa and will you just look at that! 😉

        • Yep, I believe you. I was originally from Johannesburg, from the South though. I know the West Rand is just a little cracked haha!

        • Each of the four corners has an entirely different personality. I’m from the East but fortunately from the edgy central bit rather than the world beyond the borewors curtain (or so I tell myself anyway).

        • LOL such an apt way to phrase it. All four corners are vastly different, there is NO denying that! But I suppose it all works eventually. One of my closest friends is from the East and he is a whole other level of mad! 😛

          It is alright, I believe you, and if you believe you then screw everyone else!

  7. Pingback: Resolutions 2015: Cinema Paradiso | Silver Screen Serenade

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