First Blood is a kind of survival movie that’s got terrific energy, momentum, and a great forest location to shoot its big stunts and explosions. Its character is John Rambo, a soldier returning from war and who is not welcomed to a small town in Washington. He gets bullied by the police and then fights back. This forces him to escape in what seems to be an impossible situation as the police conduct a lenghty pursuit to catch him.
Sylvester Stallone is well casted as a Rambo who is a man with inner troubles. Brian Dennehy is perfect as a Sheriff who owns his town and wants to be in charge. Richard Crenna is Rambo’s former Colonel and is given the best lines of the movie. The suspense is palpable with skilled action scenes that are well staged even if Rambo seems to possess unrealistic physical conditions. Consider his speed in planting traps while enduring his injuries. He falls from a high cliff, lands on trees and gets severely cut. Moments later he is running continuously. Directed by Ted Kotcheff, the story is shallow but Rambo’s ability to survive and his will to live make it engaging, plus that fierce performance by Stallone.