The appearance on the big screen of the character John James Rambo marked a before and after in action movies. This man, a former military man and an expert in all kinds of survival techniques and guerrilla warfare, became an icon of popcorn violence in Hollywood.
Despite this, the character created by David Morrell, writer of FirstBlood, the novel from which the film is bornwas different from the one interpreted by Sylvester Stallone. The original was a Vietnam veteran who must defend himself and tries, by all possible means, to cause the least number of deaths. The plot revolves around the aftermath of the war on John’s psyche. Although the film explores and develops the aftermath of the war, it shows a bloodthirsty Rambo causing deaths and explosions with all the paraphernalia possible.
John James Rambo was conceived from different experiences that the author of the novel collected., with an intuitive and insightful look at a fairly common problem in a country with as many wars in its history as the United States. Although of course the character is fictional and so is the story, the empathy he generates with the public (always referring to the first installment) is based mainly on the human nature of his reactions.
Is that David Morrell was based on Audie Murphy, one of the most decorated American soldiers in history, who among other feats is known for repelling a division of Germans on his own during World War II, while his companions retreated to request reinforcements. For this action he was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest decoration of the US Army. Furthermore, once the war was over, suffered from post-traumatic stress and had to take medication to combat insomnia. He fought for greater recognition of war veterans and the visualization of the problems they brought.
The writer took this figure and adapted to a recent war conflict at that time in the US, which was the Vietnam War. The intervention of the North American country was harshly questioned by its own and others, especially because of the harshness of the war and the subsequent defeat. In this way, a brave, heroic and tough character was formed, but also sensitive and visibly affected by memories of the war.
Rambo quickly became a blockbuster saga and its attempt to delve into the negative part of the postwar period succumbed to the blockbuster action that Hollywood prioritized.
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