1980s Rambo: First Blood, Part II (1985)

Published on October 12th, 2007 | by Chris

1

Rambo: First Blood, Part II (1985)


Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On October 12, 2007
Last modified:October 8, 2012

Summary:

The disillusioned and now imprisoned (after his escapades in First Blood) Vietnam vet John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) gets a call from his old commander, Col. Trautman (Richard Crenna) to go on a mission back to the 'nam, and all hell breaks loose in Rambo: First Blood, Part II.

Rambo: First Blood, Part II (1985)I'm comin to get you!

The disillusioned and now imprisoned (after his escapades in First Blood) Vietnam vet John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) gets a call from his old commander, Col. Trautman (Richard Crenna) to go on a mission back to the 'nam, and all hell breaks loose in Rambo: First Blood, Part II.

So what can you say about "Rambo," except that it was a smash hit back in the day.  And looking at it now all I can say is... "Why?!"

I suppose its because a lot of stuff gets blown up, a bunch of NVA's get theirs, and in the end Rambo gets some sort of vindication for the US loss in Vietnam, as well as sticking it to the Soviets just for fun.  I think that's what Rambo is supposed to be, fun.  Well, I can't say that it is.

Look, I remember thinking this movie was the sh-t back then, too.  What 14 year-old wouldn't?  Exploding arrowheads, popping-out-of-the-mud commando action, the obligatory big-ass Soviet helicopter gunship, the hot Vietnamese babe (barely) played by Julia Nickson....  I mean, come on!

But really I think what made Rambo the smash that it was, was the sentiment of the thing, basically explained by Rambo at the end of the film.  This time *we* win, and the vets get some overdue appreciation in the process.  There seemed to be a call-to-arms in that respect about that time, as you had other films like Chuck Norris' Missing in Action, and Gene Hackman's much superior Uncommon Valor, among others, and the next year Oliver Stone's much lauded Platoon....  I guess the nation was finally getting over it, and coming to terms, as well as purging some guilt over the multitude of MIA's that were never found....  I can't say for sure.  But it touched a nerve, regardless.

The plot is thin, the acting weak, the action heavy, but most of the time ridiculously unbelievable (how many rockets can a Huey carry, anyway!? Sheesh!)   And who invited the Soviets to the party?  From what I know there isn't much to support that little theory, other than the common communist bond between the two nations and a little arms commerce action.  I guess that was a little 80's cold war paranoia thrown in just for good measure.

Well, in case you've never actually seen it, the plot goes something like this:  After Trautman gets Rambo out of his rock-crushing prison duty, he's shipped off to southeast Asia to snap some photos of reported POW's somewhere in Vietnam.  He's not too keen on only taking pictures, but agrees anyway.  He manages to lose all his gear, meets up with his hot contact, and the two of them find the camp.  He manages to free a POW and almost gets away, before the evil mercenary Murdock (Charles Napier) aborts the mission, leaving Rambo in the hands of the Vietnamese, and the Soviets.   Of course he escapes, but his now love interest is killed.  He gets Rambo-pissed and kills and blows up everything on his way out in Rambo super-revenge-style, and manages to fly god-knows how far back to base in a shot-up chopper with the whole lot of POWs.

He gets back and shoots up the place, and makes Murdock wet himself, and delivers the famous "What I want" Rambo speech, the end.  That speech really makes you forget about the rest of the film, and is exactly what First Blood Part II is about.

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Description

Gung-ho Rambo drops into Vietnam on a recon mission and springs MIAs from a Viet Cong prison.

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Brand: STALLONE,SYLVESTER
Manufacturer: Lions Gate
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Richard Crenna
  • Charles Napier
  • Steven Berkoff
  • Julia Nickson

Features

  • Factory sealed DVD

Reviews

Customer reviews
Average Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My all-time favorite Rambo movie and one of y favorite movies ever!, March 29, 2015
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This review is from: Rambo II - Special Edition (DVD)
Best Rambo movie yet! Rambo First Blood Part II is even more action packed than the first movie that expands on the Rambo and Trautman characters. The supporting characters are great (Co, Murdock, the Russian military leader, etc.) and add to the awesomeness of the movie. The movie takes place 3 years after First Blood when Rambo is in Prison, Trautman brings him out to find P.O.W.s in Vietnam. From there, the action builds up, right from when Rambo gets stuck on the plane. The character development is great and you feel really sad for Co and Rambo when Co dies. The Russians and Vietnamese are great. Trautman is fantastic once again. Murdock and his crew are good.

This movie also starts off the "one-man army" idea when Rambo single-handedly takes out the entire Russian and Vietnamese military there with a little help, but he does most of the work. There are also many great quotes from the movie as well, such as: "Murdock. Murdock, I'm coming to get... Read more
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3.0 out of 5 stars Master Exploder, February 19, 2017
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Rambo....The ultimate killing machine. Blowing up the bad guys in the name of justice and freedom. Whether he's taking on small towns or the Viet-Congs no enemy is too large from the rage of Rambo...... Personally, my favorite part is when Rambo is going psycho at the waterfall/river scene and shoots an arrow at the VC who totally explodes.
Rambo II is a fun movie to watch. It is a great example of the 80's action movie where less time is spent worrying about the small things and you basically have a ripped movie star with a huge gun blowing everything up. However, Rambo 2008 was my favorite to watch. It was kind of a throwback to the 80's action movie, but with much better special effects. You actually get to see people who get eviscerated with a machine gun in a very realistic way. As far as carnage goes Rambo 2008 shows way more slaughter than Rambo II. My favorite part in Rambo 2008 is at the end when Rambo goes absolutely insane and wipes out like 100 guys with a mounted... Read more
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great action movie with underlying post-Vietnam cynicism, July 23, 2015
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“Rambo: First Blood Part II” was directed by George P. Cosmatos and released in 1985. Sylvester Stallone has the the central role as Rambo. Supporting actors include Richard Crenna , Charles Napier, Steven Berkoff, Julia Nickson , Martin Kove , George Cheung, and others. It is a movie to be enjoyed at several levels.

At one level it is a superb action movie for those who like action movies of that era. There is a clear separation between “good” and “bad”, the latter triumphing at the end. The action and suspense are non-stop, more credible and less over-the-top than today’s fare. The plot needs to develop a bit before we know exactly know who is on which side, and how many sides there are.

At another level, released in 1985, it is a commentary on the cynical politics of the first decade following the official end of the Vietnam War. There was plenty of bad bile in America during that decade. Could we have won? What was our leadership doing? What are they... Read more
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Rambo: First Blood, Part II (1985) Chris

Summary: The disillusioned and now imprisoned (after his escapades in First Blood) Vietnam vet John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) gets a call from his old commander, Col. Trautman (Richard Crenna) to go on a mission back to the 'nam, and all hell breaks loose in Rambo: First Blood, Part II.

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About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



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