Sunday, November 21, 2004

First Blood - The Real Ending

Perhaps capturing the zeitgeist, First Blood, the premier Rambo flick is being released as part of an Ultimate Edition DVD Box Set on Friday - the clincher to watch this one is the alternate ending for the first film never seen except by a few test audiences where Rambo commits suicide.

The frustration of the lone warrior against insurmountable Statist odds was probably too hardcore to convey in a jingo-istic film, the film-makers opting for the winner-takes-all ending. Of course, the real ending would have meant no sequels, unless they were titled "First Blood: Ghost Strike" and "First Blood: The Resurrection". Unfortunately, though, we were given First Blood: Kill Commie Charlie" and "First Blood: Blood Flood"

The new boxset follow on the heels of the Special Edition set last year, and mark a lamentable trend to milk the back-catalogs and the last years of the current DVD format. Worthy only to be viewed via Netflix, this is a film few haven't watched, if only as part of the attack of the innumerable clones.

Richard Crenna's Uncle Sam may not have the same resonance any more that it did when the film was released, and Rambo may have become the most common global term for mindless American-style heroism, but the film has had far-reaching, though trite, implications on the American Thriller, if not on the American psyche.

Not all such films are so effective - Indian films in the 1980s strove hard to display the angry disaffected hero fighting against social problems. Society did change, although not because of these films, at least not directly. As a matter of fact, the hidden subtext in these films, as in Rambo, Death Wish, Star Wars etc. is a warning against fighting evil lest you are willing to deal with the consequences and effects on your family and self, besides the world. The price paid is through redemption, yet that redemption often comes at a terrible cost.

Somewhat unrelated, but I predict the death of Amidala under dire circumstances in Star Wars III: The Revenge Of The Sith, and the subsequent turning of Anakin to the Dark Side.

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Time traveler, world traveler, book reader