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Rambo 2 (1985)

Action & Adventure and Military & War movie directed by George P. Cosmatos

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  • May 3, 2002
FIRST BLOOD was a great movie. It was full of not only action, but also suspense; it had great characterization; and Sly Stalone actually did a fairly decent job of acting. John Rambo, though he was an extra tough hero, was a character that seemed real and one that many people could identify with.

In RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD II, John Rambo is back. The movie begins with Rambo working in a prison when he's visited by his former commander, Col. Trautman (Richard Crenna). Trautman offers Rambo a chance out of prison with a special assignment that will almost guarantee him a Presidential pardon. The U.S. government is eager to put the fiasco of Vietnam behind and wants to send Rambo into an old Vietcong prison base, which he once escaped from, to take pictures proving once and for all that there are no American POW's left in Vietnam. Along the way, Rambo looses his camera, but brings back even better proof: a live POW. Unfortunately at the sight of the POW, the beaucrat in charge orders the pickup to abandon Rambo and company. Big mistake.

RAMBO lacks much of the emotional depth that made FIRST BLOOD so enduring. In FIRST BLOOD, John Rambo was a real person. In RAMBO, he has become a one man army, straight off the pages of a comic book. The movie is also full of discrepancies, plot holes, and blunders. Nevertheless, RAMBO remains a classic action flick. Most of the action films of the 1980s and early 1990s were patterned off of RAMBO. It's a fun movie to watch and it's great to see a non-politically correct American action hero kicking the tar out of some evil Communists.

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review by . May 10, 2009
Rambo: First Blood II (1985) is a Hollywood reactionary film that reflected the times. Raygun was in office and American was deep into it's patriotic phase (a phase that would start again following Iraq War, Part One and after 9/11).   After the events that have transpired in First Blood, we find Rambo breaking rocks (I am not making this up) inside a Federal Prison somewhere in Mexico (the entire movie was filmed there). Col. Trautman offers him a deal with Black Ops. He can either sweat …
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AfterRockyand its sequels, Sylvester Stallone cast about for another character that would bring him the same kind of box-office hit--and found it in disillusioned Vietnam vet John Rambo inFirst Blood, a solid little action thriller. So when all else failed, Stallone went back to the same well in hopes of recapturing the same commercial success. Which this film did. But whereFirst Bloodwas a no-nonsense thriller that pitted Stallone against a worthy (and not necessarily bad) Brian Dennehy, this one is a sadistic chest-thumper in which Rambo gets to go back to Vietnam: ostensibly, he's there to rescue missing POWs, but in fact the movie was a lame excuse for him to refight the Vietnam War--and win. Audiences ate up the cruel Vietcong (and their Russian manipulators) and Stallone's bogus heroics, but it was strictly by-the-numbers action.--Marshall Fine
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