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|Index||225 reviews in total|
Condemned to forced labor, Sylvester Stallone who is John Rambo, the
hero of this movie, is released on the condition that he returns to
Vietnam to find American prisoners who are still detained. He finds the
camp, but he goes beyond his mission by releasing a countryman, so he
is abandoned by American authorities. Consequently, he is captured,
tortured by Vietnamese guards and by Soviets...
What I can say about this film, directed by Georges Pan Cosmatos and released in 1985, is that it's an excellent war film. It contains a lot of suspense, a lot of tension because the scene takes place in a jungle, so we don't see the danger coming. There is suspense until the end, until the last second. Moreover, the music is sad, dramatic, and sometimes threatening ! This film is also hard, especially the last twenty minutes : the scene with the electric chair for example, when Co Bao, an anti-communist spy and Rambo's friend is killed by a guard. At this moment we can see hate in Rambo. However, it lacks realism : we never see Rambo sleep or eat and he is alone against all ; he kills a whole army. Moreover, he knows how to do everything ; even drive a helicopter ! And it's also a stereotypical movie, with a stock character : he has big muscles, he is « the Survivor », he is flag-waving, self-sacrificing...
But in the film, there are some technical problems : for instance, when Rambo seeks the Soviets in the jungle, it's raining in torrents and when he goes out of the jungle it's sunny... !
In a nutshell, it's an excellent war movie with a stock character but he doesn't really show the reality of war. The plot is simple : find prisoners and exterminate Vietnamese guards to take revenge for the Vietnam war.
For me one sentence can sum up the idea of the movie, as the U.S. Officer says : « What we called hell, he calls it home ».
Originally reviewed at thestabilo.com
No man, no law, no war can stop him.
This month's Most Wanted Monday flick, as voted by you the audience was Rambo: First Blood Part II. Let's just quickly look at the title of this film. It is all over the place, not making sense. The first blood was drawn in the last film. For the title of "First Blood Part II" to be logical, it would have to be drawn by the same person, again, before anyone else. But much like the 80's the decade this film was made, nothing makes any sense at all. Hair is big. Men have no chest hair. Asians speak with American/broken English. And no one's shirt fits right.
Directed by Goerge P. Cosmatos, the second instalment in the Rambo series was written by Sylvester Stallone, James Cameron (first draft) and Kevin Jarre. Rambo FBP2 stars Sylvester Stallone as Rambo, and Martin Kove, Julia Nickson, Steven Berkoff, Charles Napier, with Richard Crenna.
The story picks up sometime after Vietnam war, and Rambo is serving time in a labour camp when he gets a visit from Colonel Trautman. Trautman offers Rambo a chance at full clemency in return for a secret mission. Rambo is tasked with going back into Vietnam to find POWs. His mission is to simply photograph there prisoners, if there are any, and to not engage anyone in battle. But in usual Rambo style, everything goes wrong and he must kick-ass and blow the joint up. After a predictable swerve, Rambo must fight off the enemy alone, while plotting his revenge against the main-hand that sent him into a political hush-hush, propaganda mission.
- The action. Like the 80's. It's big. It's loud. It's doing cocaine off of a black toilet in the back of a shady club!
- Stallone. He's pretty much the only actor who did his job in this thing. Few lines, big muscles, foot firmly up bad-guy ass.
WHAT DIDN'T WORK:
- The score. There was some choice music during that didn't fit many scenes. Bouncy music isn't the best idea for a dark torture scene.
- The cleanliness level of Julia Nickson. She's in the jungles of Vietnam where every man she interacts with is filthy with sweat, blood, dirt and 80's, yet she's always prim and properly dry. WTF?
This movie makes the full circle from suck to success. Everyone is a flat character. No one has a change or even a revelation. It's big. It's loud. It's simple. It does try to make a commentary on the Vietnam war and the American Government's involvement/propaganda, but comes off slightly cheesy because of it. If you're in a brain-fart mood this one is for you!
Rambo: First Blood Part II is So Bad It's Kinda Awesome.
***SPOILERS*** Disgruntled Vietnam war veteran John Rambo, Sylvester
Stallone,is given a chance for a pardon after doing a number on the US
Army and a number of local police and law enforcement agencies in the
first Rambo/First Blood flick that landed him in the super secure
federal prison "The Rock Pile" for the criminally incorrigible. Told by
his good friend and former CO or company commander in "Nam" Col. Samuel
Trautman, Richard Crenna, that all he has to do in get inside The
People's Republic of Vietnam, which Vietnam was called since the
Commies took over in 1975, and come back with evidence that the Commies
are holding US POWS there that will prove the Vietnamese are in
violation of the Articles of the 1929 Geneva War accords.
Ready and more then willing to go into action Rambo feels a little queasy in that the US Government official who's in charge of the operation Marshall Murdock, Charles Napler, want's him only to shoot pictures of,if he finds any, US POWS and the prison camp that their in and not shoot any hated Vietnamese troopers or prison camp guards. What Rambo as well as his friend Lt.Col Trautman are soon to find out is that Murdouck and those that he answers to in D.C want his mission to fail with him ending up dead! That in order to placate those pesky people back in the states clamoring for an investigation of the some 2,500 missing POWS whom the grateful, for their services, US Government left behind and presumes to be dead!
The best of the Rambo/First Blood movies has Sly Stallone as "Rambo the Destroyer" destroys a full battalion or was it regiment of Communist Vietnam troops together with scores of their Soviet military advisers. While doing his duty for his country, killing Commies, Rambo manages to put some romance into his violent filled life by striking up a relationship with his Vietnamese contact on the ground the beautiful Eurasian Co, Julia Nickson, who earlier saved Rambo from being tortured to death by his Soviet and Communist Vietnamese captors. It's Co who ends up losing her life when the Commies, Vietnamese and Soviet, cornered her together with her love Rambo before they could make their getaway across the river to the US military base in Thailand. Now on is own, the way he always liked it, Rambo starts to take the enemy apart with an unending supply of explosive tipped arrows, Rambo is part Native American, guns and ammunition that seems to come from out of nowhere as well as a fully armed and equipped Soviet attack helicopter that he grabbed from the fleeing Commie troops. It's during this slug-fest that Rambo came upon the prison camp where the US POWS were held prisoner and at the same time was doubled-cosed by Murdouk, who was just following orders from his superiors back in Washington D.C, who left him and the prisoners , by not flying them out by helicopter gun ships, high and dry to twist in the wind!
***SPOILERS*** Rambo now fit to be tied not only takes on and destroys whatever is still left of the battered Vietnamese & Soviet troops but is determined to get back home, to Thailand, and pay back Murdock for all the trouble that he caused him with interest compounded! Not all that believable but still very watchable movie that you have to realize was made when the Cold War was still active and there was very little sympathy here in the USA for those Vietnamese and Soviet Commie soldiers whom Rambo knocked off. The only thing good about "Rambo First Blood Part II" is that it reminded us that there may still be American servicemen incarcerated in that jungle hell known as the Peoples Republic of Vietnam that our government has, for political reason, no interest in either finding or saving.
Second film in the franchise and heading slowly downhill. While the level of action is certainly maintained in this second installment of the legendary Rambo, the film seems just a bit under the excitement level of the first. The addition of the Soviets in this film is certainly an accusation from Stallone's perspective, and I am sure managed to ruffle a few diplomatic feathers at the time (there was a Soviet Union in 1985, kiddies). Because of that, the film was shot in Malaysia, since we had no real relationship with Vietnam at that time. So you have to understand the crew was working in miserable conditions with mosquitoes large enough to hold a gun on you while they sucked your blood and humidity thick enough to slice and eat for breakfast. As to the characters, Rambo seems a bit mellower following a three year stint of making little ones out of big ones. Trautman seems like he has lost his self confidence when dealing with Murdoch. And speaking of Murdoch (played by Charles Napier), would you ever trust a word this guy says? Martin Kove is the perpetual pseudo tough guy who has a small and fairly inconsequential role. The remaining cast is straightforward and somewhat boring, but overall the film is entertaining and does have the merit of putting the POW/MIA issue on the forefront. Rated R for violence, disturbing scenes, and language, First Blood 2 is worth seeing once and collectible if you have the set or love Stallone.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Charles Napier, Martin Kove and Steven Berkoff star in this 1985 action sequel. This takes place 5 years after the first film with Vietnam vet, John Rambo (Stallone) in prison. He's soon visited by friend, Colonel Sam Trautman (Crenna) who offers to get him out by going on a rescue mission to find captured POWs in Thailand. Rambo accepts and meets bureaucrat, Murdock (Napier) who explains that Rambo is only going in to take pictures of the Vietnamese prison camp where the soldiers are held and not break them out. Rambo takes matters in his own hands doing the opposite. Soon, he and Trautman learn that Murdock has set them up. Rambo gets captured by a Soviet General (Berkoff), but escapes freeing the POWs and heads back to the base where he plans to deal with Murdock. Kove (The Karate Kid) plays Erikson, one of Murdock's men. This is a good action sequel, Stallone and Crenna are great and Jerry Goldsmith's score is excellent as usual. I recommend this.
Picking up with Rambo doing hard time after the events of the first
film, he is given a second chance, however, he is left for dead behind
enemy lines and must escape from his Russian & Vietnamese captors and
bring some Vietnam Vet's home.
Where as the first film was credible, the late George P. Cosmatos' far-fetched First Blood Part 2 metamorphoses Rambo into the memorable gun-touting icon. With a James Cameron and Sylvester Stallone screenplay it plays on Rambo as the loner war machine. Jack Cardiff's cinematography is worth mentioning, especially the jungle scenes, and rice-fields where Rambo must dispose of an endless supply of solider extra's using a machine gun and a bow. Comatos' packs the screen with stunts and explosions and handles the subtler moments with ease. Jerry Goldsmith once again delivers a thriving memorable score, that adds atmosphere to the films proceedings.
Famous writer and actor Steven Berkoff is perfect as the Russian bad guy (although peculiarly similar to his own General Orlov from 1983's Octopussy. With a distinguished cast including Julia Nickson as Rambo brief love interest Co Bao, Charles Napier and Martin Kove. Richard Crenna makes a welcomed return as Col. Trautman and once again is the mediator between Rambo and the 'bureaucrats'. Again Sylvester Stallone is in fanatical preposterous physical shape and mumbles through the restrained scenes with Nickson surprisingly effectively.
All in all it's a great 80's action flick, delivering a larger than life sequel. However, if there were any serious war messages they're lost in the mist of leeches, explosions and bullets.
The first film in this series was about a torn up soldier that was
fighting against society and his own inner demons. This time around
Rambo is back in Vietnam and fighting once again. But instead of the
deep character, this time he is more of a silly cartoon/comic book
character that is the best of the best at what he does. Although he
isn't a deep character and lack the humanistic approach the first movie
had, Rambo is still a likable character here and a badass. Although
Rambo stood out in the first movie, this film is what made him a icon
in the eyes of many viewers. Rambo becomes the iconic action hero
character because of this film and I can see why. Yes this is one of
those cheesy and dumb movies of the 80's but it's still a entertaining
ride all together. This is also the only Rambo movie that has a bit of
romance in it as well, although very short. The action set pieces are
just really well done and entertaining to watch, if I lived through the
80's and saw this film at that time, I would have been blown away in
the theaters. It's still amazing and entertaining to watch, plus it's
really fast paced and there really isn't any dull moment. Rambo's
signature battle cry is just epic to watch while he uses different
types of weapons including a chopper and even exploding arrows in order
to get the task done. Like some reviewers are saying, Sylvester
Stallone gives a great and entertaining stage presence and the whole
movie overall will make you feel excited and good, even after it's
finished. The corny one liners is funny to listen to and will be
brought back as jokes in the future cause of the entertainment value of
it all, which isn't really something negative. Overall great action
movie, there are aspects of the first film in this series I liked, but
this film offers other elements that I enjoyed watching.
'Rambo: First Blood Part II' is the pure essences of real eighties
excitement (done the Rambo way)... because this movie is nothing like
'Platoon' or 'Deer Hunter', this is 100% pure man action!
The story is simple, just hear... Trautman visits Rambo at a labor camp prison, and offers him the chance of freedom after what he did in 'First Blood', but only if he goes to Vietnam, and search the jungle for some missing American prisoner of war. Isn't that just a plot every person can understand, and for a action movie like this, it couldn't fit any better.
Just so anybody know, the main thing in this movie is the action and nothing more than that, and what I know about action, is that real men cry blood, when they see those beautiful explosions, and a man killing a whole army, in a war there is nowhere near realistic... but men like me, don't give a ****, we just sit back and enjoy the spectacle of the expendable Rambo.
Top 3 Favorites - 80's Action Movies: #3 Rambo: First Blood Part II #2 Predator #1 Die Hard...
In the quote I featured above, spoken right before the opening credits
begin for Rambo: First Blood Part II, made me immediately realize the
difference between this film and its predecessor, First Blood. This
time, we see a Rambo that reflects his own nation's mentality about
combat, not just with Vietnam (though certainly losing the war doesn't
help the esteem), and the film is about how Rambo can help WIN, in big
capital f***-you-all letters. The "it's up to you" part seems like an
interesting answer to Rambo, since we should be under the impression
that the character is (or was) a loose cannon. Guess so much time away
chipping at rocks doesn't slow a man's natural Green Beret ability to
kill. After all, he's just going to take photographs of POW camps
behind ("former") enemy lines, right?
This movie should be total BS, but somehow it is entertaining, at least some of the time. I liked how ultimately it became a reel almost, unintentionally, commenting on itself. The explosions are fantastic and out of this world, but believable in the comic-book/cartoon aspect of it. Rambo becomes such an action figure that one wonders where Skeletor is. I smiled whenever a character would fire at Rambo oh so poorly (the look on one's face looking like "oh, damn, why am I firing so much?") only to be blown away by a missile on the end of an arrow. I laughed incredibly when I got to watch the money shots of stuff blowing up so good that it nearly made Stallone's recent blow-stuff-up-real-good outing the Expendables like the retreading it is. Characters come on screen with the life of GI Joe, and why not after a while?
The movie knows what it is, at least it does once one is acclimated to the style that Stallone is after. Ironically what Stallone is after in his portion of the script, the politics of it, is just silly and outdated 'hell-with-the-commies' stuff (it should also go without saying that he also made Rocky IV the same year). It's James Cameron's contributions, of the action and suspense, that make the movie so worthwhile, in spite of the face of logic that should be present. One can either go with the flow of it, or they can't. I mostly did. I ended up enjoying the spectacle of how fearless the macho jingoism became. What little dialog is in the movie is cut out of steroids. A character may die just the way you might expect - which in its own way makes it more surprising how expected it is ironically enough (you'll see what I mean when it comes). And by the time Rambo comes to his great conclusion, he may be more heroic, but in such a way that leaves no impact whatsoever.
Rambo: First Blood Part II is mindless entertainment for a time of mindless action fans in the middle of a mindless but much touted Presidency like Regan's. It's up to Rambo? Does he have a choice? America for the WIN!
Rambo 2 is a non stop action movie. Events develop too quickly and it is not as powerful as First Blood may be, because there is not exactly a story, pure action, but a cult action classic though. There are great action sequences that leave some unforgettable moments and images for cinema's sake! For example the radio scene or the snake scene or the arrow scene. This is one of the best action movies ever made. If see Rambo 2 and Shooter at the same time, you will see the difference. I seriously got bored while watching Shooter, the new trend, new action movies... My favorite action sequence in the movie is the one which Rambo attacks with the helicopter. Arrows create too big explosions, but cool. And Part 2 has a legendary, unforgettable closing scene. However, this time not touching, funny! The scene that Rambo prepares for the operation is legendary with the legendary music. Now, it is time for replying ideological criticisms. It is said that Rambo movies are fascist movies. They don't know what fascism means. This is an action movie, Rambo is a war veteran who goes missions, operations again, so? And one more thing, I don't think that he is interested in politics. It is said that Rambo is a shameful cold war propaganda. Always the same stuff, this action movie is propaganda, that action movie is propaganda, this movie is racist, that movie is racist. According to some critics, every movie is ideological, every movie carries political and social messages. They represent ideological cinema. It is said that Rambo movies are very violent, bloody movies, they always bring up the number of the dead people in the movie to the agenda. However, they love David Cronenberg movies, Takeshi Miike or George Romero's dead trilogy, right? Does Rambo eat soldiers? In Rambo movies, people are killed by weapons, explosions etc. in some other horror movies which the same critics admire, people are eaten or disintegrated etc. in much more gruesome ways! Returning to the political stuff, may be the conversation at the end is unnecessary, but this is an action movie, period. I find some reviews even malicious or ridiculous. It is said that Rambo movies are women hater. Really? Then why Rambo falls in love with an Asian girl? They brainwash us, be careful!
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