First Blood

Rambo V is coming up,
The last one that Sly will do,
So let me do a countdown
And add some film reviews

Of every Rambo ever made
And give them each a rating,
Preparatory to Rambo V.
For Last Blood we’ll be waiting.

First Blood


Directed by Ted Kotcheff

Starring Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna

Rating: ******

We meet Rambo for the first time.

A troubled Vietnam vet
(Is there any other kind?)
Visits a tiny American town,
Hoping to unwind,

When the Sheriff drives towards him
And stops him with his stare,
And tells him he’s not welcome
At that small town over there.

Perhaps it’s his appearance
The Sheriff doesn’t like.
He looks unkempt–perhaps homeless–
And he doesn’t look quite right,

The Sheriff arrests him.

But the man ignores the Sheriff,
And walks towards the town
Prompting the old, fat Sheriff
To arrest him and pat him down.

He brings him to the jail
And his people strip him nude
And hose him down to clean him,
So he won’t smell quite as rude.

He’s covered in scars.

Then they try to shave him,
And that’s when things go wrong.
The man remembers being tortured
Back in Vietnam.

The Vietcong would cut him
With a military knife,
And the man would scream and struggle,
As if fighting for his life.

So he fights and struggles with his guards
In the prison of today,
Managing to escape and run,
Stealing a bike to get away.

Rambo remembers being tortured.

His actions prompt a manhunt.
He’ll be caught before he gets older,
But they did not reckon they’d be stuck
With a decorated soldier.

The man that they begin to chase
Through the cold and snowy forest
It’s none other than Rambo,
Medal of Honor, Special Forces.

And that is the beginning
Of this story of survival.
We see him use his brain and body
As he wends back towards his rival.

So he escapes.

This was Sylvester Stallone’s
First real action movie,
One that altered his career,
And the whole history of movies.

It’s pretty decent, through not as good
As the next film in the line.
The most timid, the least violent,
But it didn’t need to be at the time.

It’s a movie about a killer
Trying not to kill,
Instead using his brains and brawn
Along with an iron will.

And gets some much-needed R&R.

In the sequels he retains his brains,
And his brawn balloons,
But we lose the realism of this film
As he becomes a live-action cartoon.

It’s not my favorite Rambo film
But I think it deserves a four.
They tried something new with the story,
Though I preferred the novel more.

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