First Blood [Rambo 1] (1982)

(On VHS, November 1998) Not an easy movie to categorize. On one hand, it’s a straight action movie where stuff blows up real good, and a lone superhero takes on hordes of enemies. On the other, the particular motor of this actionner is post-Vietnam stress: The hero isn’t completely sane, the enemies are not-so-guilty policemen, the setting is a quiet American town. It’s refreshing, for once, to see an action movie in a dark, damp and cold-looking forrestrial setting. Though the whole movie is based on an unexplainable decision (why did he turn back at the city limits?) and the final monologue shows all of Stallone’s verbal deficiencies, the whole film has, all things considered, aged pretty well, and stands above its sequels in terms of maturity… though that’s not necessarily saying much.

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