Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Genres: Action, Action Thriller, War Adventure
Former Green Beret John Rambo is serving time in a federal prison. When the US military hears of American soldiers missing in action from the Vietnam war possibly still being alive and held captive, Colonel Trautman is authorized to send Rambo in to rescue them. For Rambo, this is what he would do best. If only the pencil-pushers would stop getting in his way. --IMDb
George P. Cosmatos George P. Cosmatos
Sylvester Stallone Sylvester Stallone
Richard Crenna Richard Crenna
Charles Napier Charles Napier
Steven Berkoff Steven Berkoff
Julia Nickson Julia Nickson
Movie Connections:
> First Blood (1982)
> Bimbo (1985)
> Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)
> Ramb-Ohh! (1986)
> Rambo: Season 1 (1986)
> Ramb-Ohh II: The Sex Platoon (1987)
> Rambo III (1988)
> Porno Rambo (2005)
> Rambo: A World Of Trouble, Volume 1 (2005)
> Rambo: Enter The Dragon, Volume 2 (2005)
> Rambo: S.A.V.A.G.E. Island, Volume 3 (2005)
> Rambo: Up In Arms, Volume 4 (2005)
> Rambo: Face Of Freedom, Volume 6 (2005)
> Rambo: Snow Raid, Volume 5 (2005)
> Rambo (2008)
> ...Show All Connections?

6.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: August 24, 2007
It had been three years since the release of First Blood, and since the first one did so well with the fans, it was inevitable for a sequel to come rolling around. This time around, however, the emphasis was placed on the action sequences instead of developing the Rambo character, and the result was one of the better pure action flicks to come out of the eighties... and yes, making things just a little more interesting was the fact that the political undertones are still there, front and center.

Picking up a couple of years since that little small-town incident, First Blood Part II finds John J. Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) serving time in jail for his crimes. Who should come to his rescue but his old friend Col. Samuel Trautman (Richard Crenna), and as always, he has ulterior motives for springing Rambo from the joint. You see, there are a number of P.O.W. camps left over from the war, and military leader Marshall Murdock (Charles Napier) is currently investigating one of them in particular with the goal of getting the prisoners back to the States. This is where Rambo comes in: in exchange for his freedom, he must infiltrate this camp, take pictures of the prisoners to prove that they're there, and get out within thirty-six hours. Of course, knowing the character of Rambo like we do (and knowing that we wouldn't have a movie otherwise), he opts to not only take pictures of the prisoners, but to also take on an entire army of both North Vietnamese and Russian soldiers while attempting to rescue the Americans. Patriotism at its finest, and aiding him along the way is the lovely Vietnamese freedom fighter Co Bao (Julia Nickson-Soul).

Whereas the previous film lacked a lot of the over-the-top action that most remember these films for, First Blood Part II chooses to go the opposite route and gives us everything that one normally associates with eighties action films: lots of gunfights, lots of explosions, lots of chase scenes, and of course, a seemingly-invincible hero going up against millions of soldiers. Now, those of you who read my review for the previous film may remember that I praised it for not taking this route, and I stand by that statement: it was a much better film as a result and had an amount of depth not usually seen in action films. However, as far as mindless blow-'em-up action films go, this one is a winner, and while I couldn't rightfully say that I enjoyed it more than the original, I did enjoy it for what it is. Also, the coolness factor of the survival knife is pushed aside in favor of the bow this time around. Now, this is no ordinary bow; no, this one can not only shoot normal arrows through a man's skull, but it can also shoot explosive-tipped arrows that can blow up entire buildings. That was certainly an interesting compliment to the expected assortment of "normal" weapons such as machine guns and M-16s.

Sylvester Stallone is... well, Sylvester Stallone in this one. The man isn't known for his pure acting abilities, and while he did turn in a damned memorable scene in the previous film, his acting chops here are about what we've come to expect from the action genre: ie, he looks great with a gun in his hand and he makes a convincing bad-ass, but as far as memorable performances or convincing monologues, well... hey, did I mention that he looks great with a gun in his hand? Not counting the millions of Vietnamese and Russian soldiers, Charles Napier plays the villain here and does an adequate job with it. He's certainly not as good in the antagonist role as Brian Dennehy was in the previous film, but he does manage to raise the viewer's ire and get them wanting to see his head on a stick. I also enjoyed Julia Nickson-Soul as Rambo's potential love-interest, and although her accent was laughably fake, she did bring the goods to the table in terms of a great sidekick.

Overall, it's another highly recommended Stallone action flick. It's not a groundbreaking movie and it's not the classic that the previous film was, but as far as mindless action flicks go, you can't get a whole lot better than this one. 8/10.
Rest Easy Soul #1: Rest Easy Soul - added 07/25/2010, 11:09 AM
This is the one in the series that everyone seems to remember most. This is the stereotypical Rambo. I guess going around killing cops was too hardcore so why not remember him for killing "gooks".

Not as good as the first, not as good as the 4th, but still pretty darn good.
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