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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Rambo: First Blood Part II can be found here.
By federal order, John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) is released from prison and sent on a covert mission into the jungles of Vietnam in order to document by photograph whether any POWs are still being held there. Aided by Vietnamese freedom fighter Co Bao (Julia Nickson), Rambo turns what is supposed to be a recon mission into a rescue mission.
Rambo: First Blood Part II is a sequel to First Blood (1982), which was based on First Blood, a 1972 novel by Canadian-American novelist David Morrell. In the novel, Rambo died at the end of the shoot-out in Hope, Washington. The expanded story and screenplay for Rambo II was written by James Cameron, Sylvester Stallone, and Kevin Jarre. Morrell novelized the movie in 1985. Rambo II was followed by two more sequels, Rambo III (1988) and Rambo (2008).
During the mission briefing Murdock (Charles Napier) said that he was with 2nd battalion 3rd Marines at Kon Tum in 1966. Just before Rambo boards the plane to Vietnam, he tells Colonel Trautman (Richard Crenna) that the 2nd battalion was actually at Kud Sank 1966. Trautman claims he could have mixed it up, but Rambo claims that you couldn't forget something like that. It was later proven that Rambo was right and that Murdock had never served in the Vietnam War.
After blowing up the camp and rescuing the POWs, Rambo heads his helicopter toward the American camp in Thailand but is tailed by Lt Col. Podovsky (Steven Berkoff), who fires upon him several times. Faking a hit, Rambo lands his copter on a river and plays dead. Thinking he has the advantage, Podovsky lands near Rambo and prepares to fire. Suddenly, Rambo springs to life and fires on Podovsky, destroying him. He then returns to the 'Wolf Den' and shoots up Murdock's command center. Holding Murdock at arm's length with his knife, he demands that Murdock locate and rescue any remaining POWs in Vietnam. Assured that the rescued POWs are receiving medical care, Rambo prepares to leave the camp. Trautman informs him that he's received a second Medal of Honor and asks where he is going now that he is free. Rambo replies that he will be staying in Vietnam where all his friends died. Trautman agrees that the war was wrong but warns Rambo not to hate his country for it. 'Hate?' Rambo replies.' I 'd die for it. What I want...and every other guy who came over here and spilled his guts and gave everything he had wants...is for our country to love us as much as we love it.' In the final scene, Trautman asks how he will live, and Rambo replies, 'Day by day,' before walking off.
First of all Murdock intentionally sent Rambo to a camp that he believed was empty, his ultimate goal was for Rambo to take pictures of an empty camp so that he could have documented proof that there were no POWs left in Vietnam and therefore Congress and the POWs families would back off about having to find them. In the context of the film, there was a secret deal between the United States and the then-North Vietnamese government in 1972 to release their American POWs by ransom. In order to save some money Murdock stopped the ransom payments from being sent to North Vietnam at some point and the payments that were already sent were not enough to pay for the release of all POWs, leaving many American soldiers still held captive in communist controlled Vietnam long after the war's conclusion. Furthermore if it were discovered that the Vietnamese were still holding POWs, Congress would have immediately resumed the ransom payments to the Vietnamese government in order to release them, possibly costing the United States government millions of dollars in tax payer's money to finish the 1972 ransom deal. Essentially Murdock wanted to be able to tell Congress that he tried and was unable to find any POWs left in Vietnam in order to save a little money which he believes will be supporting the Cold War enemy if sent to Communist Vietnam. If it turned out that Rambo returned with pictures that showed American POWs at the camp then Murdock more than likely was going to "lose" them or digitally alter them to remove the POWs. It would be his word against Rambo's word (at the time an ex-con) and people were more likely to believe Murdock over Rambo. However Rambo didn't take pictures, instead he took one of the POWs with him and Murdock knew there was no way he could ever keep the POW from telling the media that there were still men out there so Murdock therefore had to abandon Rambo and the POW.
Ericson was ordered by Murdock to betray Rambo by flying off and leaving Rambo and the POW behind and a reluctant Ericson did as he was told.
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