First Blood Part II

by Alan Rapp on January 24, 2008

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Rambo: First Blood Part II
  • IMDB: link

“Sir, do we get to win this time?”
“This time it’s up to you.”

rambo-first-blood-part-ii-poster

Locked away in a maximum security prison, and serving his sentence for the crimes committed in the first film (read that review), Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) is approached by his old commander, Col. Trautman (Richard Crenna), and offered the chance to receive a Presidential pardon if he agrees to perform a small service for the United States government.  All he must do is return to Vietnam.

A program run by Marshall Murdock (Charles Napier) is searching for evidence of American POWs are alive and still held captive in Vietnam.  Rambo’s mission is simple, to infiltrate the camp and take pictures – but under no circumstances to engage the enemy.

With the help of a local woman (Julia Nickson) Rambo finds rescues one of the POWs, but is left to fend for himself by Murdock, who didn’t want any evidence actually found.  Rambo, being the soldier that he is, breaks the other POWs out of the camp before destroying it and returning to the staging area in Thailand to take his revenge.

The sequel dwarfs the original in terms of action scenes, explosions and body count.  And in many ways the film became a template for the type of film Hollywood still makes today.  More elements are added this time around including a love interest, the evil Soviet agent (Steven Berkoff), and those wonderful explosive arrow tips.

Rambo is more brutal this time around.  I guess it’s easier for him to kill Vietnamese and Russians in the jungle than Americans in the woods.  The film includes a high body count (according to Wikipedia Rambo kills more than 61 people, not counting blowing up the camp).  This more lethal Rambo is balanced by a softer side to the character shown in scenes with the love interest of Co Bao (Nickson).

Although some think this is the best of the series I prefer the more contemplative First Blood.  As an all-out action flick however this one gets high marks providing many memorable moments and action scenes, though in spots it stretches belief and makes Rambo a bit too super-human.  Much like the first film, this one would be a box office success and spawn yet another sequel.

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