John Rambo (First Blood)

First Blood, a film Stallone hated so much when he saw the first cut he tried to physically destroy it. Image courtesy Orion Pictures.

Rambo in First Blood was a Vietnam veteran that returned to a country that turned against him. Every friend he ever had in the military was dead. He suffered from PTSD. He came back to a different country as a different and haunted man. Rambo nearly slaughters the entire police force of a small American town because … they were mean to him? Though not typically viewed as a thoughtful film or deserving of much thought, the way director Ted Kotcheff managed to create in the anti-hero of John Rambo an agent of, a victim of, and the punisher of American law enforcement, all at once, is mesmerizing.

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