First Blood II opens to the audience with Rambo being released from prison – he is appointed by the US Government to go back to Vietnam and search leftover POWs; not knowing that he is being used as a pawn in a federal conspiracy to hush up the matter – the feds are relying on him not finding anyone there. Colonel Sam Trautman (Richard Crenna) , his former CO from Nam, offers him the opportunity to earn clemency on the one condition that he go back and search for POWs.
The operation will be overseen by a bureaucra t- Marshal Murdock (Charles Napier), who sugar coats the details, flattering Rambo about how dependable the US Citizens think he is, and him being a trained commando - they believe none other can carry out the job as well!
He is also briefed strictly that all he must do is photograph the presence of POWs, he must, under no circumstance, carry out a rescue mission, or engage with the Vietnamese in any form of combat. Feeling frustrated that he has no way he can help the POWs, Rambo gets ready to leave for Nam, where a US official will meet him.
Whilst being airdropped, Rambo loses much of his gear since the parachute line is caught on the plane on exit. He now has his arsenal of knives, bows and arrows on his person. The agent who is there to receive him is Co-Bao (Julia Nickson), she is offered asylum in the US and agrees to guide Rambo through the jungles of Nam, along with river pirates.
The lone ranger mows down the enemy with an RPG, killing the pirates. In need of aerial help, he calls in on Murdock, who is now worried that the US and the public will get to know the truth about the operation - the chopper does not make a rescue landing. As a result, Rambo and the POWs are recaptured and returned to the camp.
All sorts of torture are meted out on Rambo, unspeakable indignity is doled out to the POWs as well. Another layer is added to the plot when Rambo discovers that the Russians are aiding the Vietcong, two personnel of the Soviet army are present in the camp, and they relish torturing Rambo.
In a brave attempt to escape his captors and get even with the US officials - Rambo escapes , taking Co with him; the two are once more attacked, just as soon as they realize how emotionally connected they are - unfortunately, Co is mercilessly gunned down in the standoff with the Vietcong. Enraged, Rambo hammers a full blown attack on the soldiers, killing all, including the commander. He then buried Co in the jungles.
Despite not getting rave reviews from the critics, First Blood II is a favorite with audiences worldwide, infact, it is a more beloved character than Rocky and has a cult following the world over!