When you think of action movies, you think of pure explosiveness. These are rocking movies full of one shot and a fiery tone, always in them to have a good time. It’s not very common for releases in this genre to take their time to make you feel anything other than action, have a strong storyline, or anything greater than an inch of character depth. But movies like Terminator 2: Judgment DayAnd the The Daniel Craig James Bond Run, this year Top Gun: Maverick Are some examples of action movies that aim to connect the audience with the characters so that when something happens to them, you actually care. Although there are films in this genre that make you fond of heroines, there are fewer films that deal with emotional and difficult themes such as first blood.
One of the greatest of these is 1982 first bloodAnd the The first movie in Rambo series. first blood It’s essentially a chase scene for the majority of its running time, one with all the explosions and bullets you might expect, but balanced with a serene nature that leaves the viewer’s room to enjoy its heavier thoughts on police brutality and trauma. Forty years later, the film is no longer just the best in its series, but one of the greatest action movies ever made.
Those who are not familiar with Rambo The franchises might think of every entry in the series as the same kind of movie, and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong in doing so. The majority of this series is the 101st core action movie, centered around hardened bullets firing endless rounds of bullets at armies of unsung villains. The explosions keep coming and the movies get bloodier as they happen. after John Rambo (Sylvester StalloneBig screen debut first blood It is actually a simple sentimental story. Although it is an action movie, first blood It is more than just his work.
From a novel to the big screen
The film is an adaptation of the 1972 novel of the same name, written by David Morell. The original book has a much tougher story than that of his final film, one that Stallone would lead. The rocky The actor used his influence to make certain changes from the novel to the big screen so that the main character would be more sympathetic. While Rambo does his best to defend himself in the adaptive film, unlike the book, he doesn’t directly kill anyone. Stallone set out to bring character to the audience, and he did so immediately.
While Stallone was heavily involved in bringing the character to the big screen, Ted Kochiv It will be the person sitting in the director’s chair. Kochiv and cinematographer Andrew Laszlo Shoot much of the movie in wide shots, capturing the beautiful landscapes of Washington on a giant canvas. Much of the movie’s running time has Rambo either walking or running while he’s surrounded by a sea of trees, endless white water cliffs, and towering waterfalls. The way Kotcheff squeezes a variety of natural beauty into these shots, framing Rambo at the center of it all, creates a mixture of awe of nature and reclusive paranoia. It’s a comfort-looking movie as you travel through the small town of Hope, Washington, and the surrounding woods, but it also has a real sense of dread when you’re wondering which corner of the thicket of trees one of Rambo’s threats might come from.
Slower than the average action movie
first blood He also takes time in his story, and this choice in pace enhances the story. The first thing we see in the movie is that Rambo is wandering around a mountain bend on a long dirt road. He encounters a small community by a long, clear lake while searching for his old friend Delmar Barry, who served with Rambo in Vietnam. The scene begins with bright, hopeful music and the sounds of children playing, but when Rambo begins talking to a woman in town, the mood quickly turns harsh. There is a little over a minute shot of Rambo explaining the relationship between him and Barry. Kotcheff leaves the conversation long and begins Stallone’s performance long enough for you to know what’s going to happen before anything is said. When the audience learns that Barry died of complications from cancer, Stallone goes from quiet shock to formal acceptance. It’s a masterful performance. This scene under the four-minute mark tells you everything you need to know. This is not so die hard or Breaking pointAnd the first blood on a level of its own.
From there, he makes his way to Hope, Washington, and is almost immediately harassed by Sheriff Will Tesla (Brian Dennehy). He tells Rambo that the town does not welcome hikers and leads them to the edge of town, where Rambo proceeds to turn around and back to Hope. Enraged, Tesla arrested Rambo and returned him to the police station where Rambo was repeatedly beaten and provoked by police officers. Their treatment of him causes PTSD, bringing back disturbing flashes from his experiences in Vietnam. This constant preparation makes the final procedure more intense. These early scenes not only enhance Rambo’s character richness and depth, but make the character particularly sympathetic. Not only that, in just a few scenes, Kotcheff tells you everything you need to know about law enforcement in Hope – they’re just a bored bunch of police officers who, once they have someone they can push, will dry up their circumstances completely, even if it means pushing someone to the edge.
It doesn’t take Rambo long to escape from the police station into the wilderness. This is where the movie’s long chase begins, and more importantly, its action really kicks in. While first blood It doesn’t necessarily have the world’s most entertaining thriller, it’s gorgeous, and the serious tone prevents the movie from going too far. There is an exciting result before Jerry Goldsmith It’s been brought up all the time, but for the most part, Ketchoff allows the film’s sound to breathe with the sounds of nature. Perfectly married with the film’s wide open cinematography, the film’s sound keeps things quiet so much that you constantly listen to anyone who might approach you. It becomes very satisfying when the tables begin to turn and the police realize that now they are the ones being hunted instead. While Rambo continues to fight, but never kills them, the movie really earns a few fun moments for the audience. First and foremost, this is a movie that cares about its story and characters, but that doesn’t mean it refuses to deliver thrills.
Without spoiling anything, the movie ultimately culminates with a scene in which Stallone presents, perhaps, the greatest scene of his entire career. Between two long pieces, Rambo emotionally details the daily mental and social struggles of his life after Vietnam. Stallone is really strong here. It’s a scene that, despite the thrilling nature of the film, highlights the clear intentions he had throughout: the story of a Vietnam veteran who sacrificed so much for his country, yet gave so little in return. It’s a scene that, it seems, will continue to be forgotten by the rest of the franchise. while the other Rambo Movies can be so much fun, it’s a contradiction to think that a runaway franchise was made in the wake of such a strong scene. It’s a situation similar to Stallone’s rocky The series, which had its humble beginnings in a film that focused heavily on story, will eventually carry over into the traditional blockbuster film industry. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because rocky Movies are a blast, like most Rambo movies, but they rarely go back to what made their original movies so great in the first place. Four sequels later and forty years down the road, it was Rambo The franchise will continue to have a lot of fun, but it will never be good or go back to its quieter, more serious roots found in first bloodOne of the greatest action movies of all time.
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