The last few nights we have been viewing the Rambo series with Sylvester Stallone. They seem to be part of American “culture” so it was time we saw what it was all about. The movies are “First Blood,” “Rambo: First Blood, Part II,” “Rambo III” and “Rambo.”
The movies span a quarter of century, from 1982 to 2008, as we follow our hero coming to terms with who he is and what he stands for. If you see them in a row, you see the character evolving from a young troubled Vietnam Vet to an older troubled Vietnam Vet. We see Stallone age…a big hulking guy who wears a flimsy undershirt to a big guy who never takes off his shirt. He never says a lot…he just stares and fights. He’s the underdog, the under-estimated man, who wins!
The first 3 movies are filled with murder and mayhem, with some humorous moments as the “underdog” wins! There’s hardly any profanity, just lots of bust ‘em up action. The last movie is more “modern” with the “f-word” used more than it should…and the murder and mayhem is far more graphic and ugly. I wonder if this is a statement on how we expect things to be. I liked the earlier 3 movies for being more naïve.
It’s interesting to see how things change. In the 3rd movie, Rambo is in Afghanistan – and he’s helping the “good guy” freedom fighters. Today those “good guy” freedom fighters are the Taliban and we are fighting them.
Rambo is a myth. Is there a “Rambo” in the American psyche that says we will always win?