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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Rambo: First Blood, Part 2 - Starring Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Charles Napier, and Steven Berkoff - Released in 1985

Undoubtedly the most successful film in the Rambo series, First Blood II is the 1985 sequel to First Blood, directed by George Cosmatos, starring Sylvester Stallone playing John Rambo, a Vietnam veteran awarded the coveted Medal of Honor. Both films have been co-written by Stallone. Rambo was arrested at the end of First Blood, after waging a one man battle against the Sherriff of the small town of Hope.

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.

When they arrive at the camp where the alleged POWs are being held, Rambo, in keeping with his training and temperament, is appalled to see the torture being meted out on  the  US inmates of the camp. A night patrol of the Vietcong discovers that a sentry has been killed - they launch a search operation in the jungles. Meanwhile, Rambo along with the native girl and POWs, escape into the thicket, they are attacked by a navy gunboat after the river pirates betray them to the enemy.

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!

Rambo: First Blood, Part 2 - Starring Sylvester Stallonem Richard Crenna, Charles Napier, and Steven Berkoff - Released in 1985

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