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September 16, 2019

First Blood Part 2 (1985) --- “What Most People Call Hell, He Calls Home.”

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     It’s been 3 years since the events of the first film and John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) has been removed from prison by his former superior, Colonel Samuel Troutman (Richard Crenna), for a top-secret mission in Vietnam. The mission is to bring back POW's being held by sadistic Vietnamese Captain Vinh (William Grant) and his Russian comrade, Lieutenant Colonel Padovsky (Steven Berkoff). But when Rambo is only given menial tasks, he teams up Vietnamese freedom fighter Co Bao (Julia Nickson) and embarks on a rescue mission to save the POWs and uncover corrupt officials from within.

     Directed by George P. Cosmatos (Tombstone), and written by Kevin Jarre (Tombstone), Sylvester Stallone (Rambo: Last Blood), and James Cameron (Avatar series, Terminator: Dark Fate), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) is a pure bad-ass action film based on the series by David Morrell. In mood and style, Part 2 is much like Part 1 but it is far bloodier and with a lot more action than the first film. This is the film that started the ‘80s action film hype where we see a lot of explosions and the film’s hero mowing down 10 bad guys at one time. But rather than being only a mindless killing fest, the story also touches on some deeper elements, particularly how the ghost of the Vietnam war has haunted the American psyche for decades. Not only were thousands of soldiers declared MIA during the war but many of those that returned came back as shadows of their former selves and were treated in a manner that can only be described as inhumanly disrespectful to their sacrifice. First Blood (1982) provides a small insight into what the returning soldiers might have faced, while Part 2 illustrates how sore a country can be both in victory and defeat. Perhaps many are of the opinion that the Vietnam war was lost but history will continue to honor the sacrifice of tens of thousands of American soldiers who fought against communism, imperialism, and oppression. 
     The cast performances are excellent. Sylvester Stallone once again delivers an excellent performance as the legendary John Rambo. The late Richard Crenna (First Blood) as Col. Samuel Trautman was great and the late Charles Napier (The Blues Brothers) as Marshall Murdock was fantastic as the bad guy. And Julia Nickson (Walker Texas Ranger) is probably the most important character in the story apart from Rambo and she does a fantastic job.
     Overall, Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) is a very entertaining and action-packed film that introduced audiences of the 1980s with a new style of action, adventure, and thrill that they hadn’t seen before. The story is action-packed but not mindless in its direction; it knows what it wants to accomplish and does exactly that, Its both action-packed and insightful, and the cast performances are excellent all around. I highly recommend this film, especially if you have plans to see Rambo: Last Blood (2019).

Final Vote --- 7.5 of 10 stars

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Rambo: Last Blood (2019)

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