Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)

#2 - 1985 Box Office: Gross $150,415,432

What most people call hell, he calls home
George P. Cosmatos's film opens with John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) in a labor prison camp, presumably convicted for the events of First Blood*. He is visited by Col. Trautman (Richard Crenna) who offers him a way out of prison, with a full pardon.  A bureaucrat named Murdock (Charles Napier) wants Rambo to parachute into Vietnam and do reconnaissance regarding American POWs—but under no circumstances is Rambo supposed to engage the enemy.  This is simply a fact-finding mission.  However, Rambo loves his country too much to let other US soldiers be tortured and killed and so he soon becomes a one-man army fighting the Vietnamese, Soviets, and even the Americans who sent him on the impossible mission.

Trivia (mostly courtesy of the IMDb)
  • First film to appear in over 2,000 US theaters
  • Rambo: First Blood Part II earned $300,400,432 in the worldwide box office. Rocky IV (also released in 1985) earned $300,473,716 worldwide. These two films mark Stallone's highest grossing films, worldwide
  • *Certain movie franchises have taken unique steps in naming their sequels, but this series is one of the silliest:  1982 introduced us to the character of Rambo in a film titled, First Blood.  Three years later, we get Rambo: First Blood Part II.  However, in 1988, the producers pull a fast one and release Rambo III!  Flash forward to 2008, and you get the fourth movie in the series, titled simply Rambo.  And currently in development is a fifth film, tentatively titled, Rambo: Last Stand.
  • Co-writer James Cameron claims that he only wrote the first draft of the script and that Stallone made many changes to it, commenting that he only wrote the "action" and that Stallone wrote the "politics"
  • James Cameron's original screenplay began with Col. Trautman finding Rambo in a psychiatric hospital instead of a prison. This concept was recycled in Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  • The total body count of the film is 67—57 of which are killed by Rambo himself (the total body count of First Blood is 1)
Sir, do we get to win this time?
First Blood interested me—it was a film about a haunted and terrorized vet.  The small town he stumbled upon treats him horribly, so he retaliates.  The end, with Rambo's histrionic speech, feels a little too pointed, but overall it was an enjoyable film.  Rambo: First Blood Part II, however seems entirely too pointed and political.  I don't even really understand the point Murdoch was making in throwing Rambo back into Vietnam (if someone can clear it up for me, please do).  The action is over the top, and some of it is enjoyable (e.g. explosive tip arrows), but the montage of Rambo taking out the Soviets in the jungle was laughable—he went from stalking one soldier to covered in mud and hiding against a wall in seconds!  I suppose had I seen these types of films when I was younger, I might have more of an affection for it, but I was kind of bored and counting down the minutes till the ending (and might I point out how pissed I was when he and the POW weren't picked up by the helicopter in the middle of the film?!? I honestly thought the movie was nearly over, but nope! Still 45 minutes to go!)

Ponch's Rating:

No comments:

Post a Comment