Rambo: First Blood II (1985)

Rambo II picked up, kinda where First Blood ended. John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) is in a cozy prison yard breaking rocks for the “crimes” he committed in the first one. He is recruited again to go back to Vietnam and find some prisoners of war. 

What stuck with me through the film and the rest of the series is a review I happen to stumble upon while looking up information on the plot. The reviewer pointed out that Rambo II would be a great action film if it was a stand-alone feature. However, since it just continues the story of John Rambo, it is a watered-down sequel. 

Sadly I couldn’t get that thought out of my head, and that statement is entirely accurate. 

The stakes are higher in this one, and the body count probably tripled from the first one. The worse part of the movie isn’t the enemies in the woods who are holding American hostages, but the active military who recruited Rambo. Turns out, the whole operation was a lie that leaves him stranded in the jungle alone. 

Given the nature of the subject material in this film and the environment it was filmed in, the writers and director were able to go big on explosions and bloodshed. The highlight of this action flick has to be the helicopter sequence, which would have been a great experience on the big screen.

I understand why the film ended the way it did, but we all wanted it to end in more bloodshed. Rambo II wasn’t the great sequel we all deserved, but it was what we got. If you love the 1980s action movies where the lead actor is a larger-than-life character, then this film (franchise) will be for you. 6/10


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