Rambo: First Blood Part II (Blu-ray)
The second Rambo film adopts the character’s name along with the original title. RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II ups everything in almost a cartoony sort of way. It’s arguably the best of the Rambo’s because it’s so silly it’s good. However, it isn’t meant to be silly which I think is what makes it so enjoyable. This time around Rambo is let loose on bad guys racking up the body count. Unlike the Vietnam War, Rambo gets to decide if we win.
John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) is in prison when his commanding officer and only friend, Colonel Samuel Troutman (Richard Crenna) offers him his freedom if he accepts a top secret mission to take some pictures of American POW’s being held in Vietnam. The corrupt official, Murdock (Charles Napier), overseeing the mission wants it to fail but Rambo is determined to rescue the POW’s and kill as many Vietnamese and Russians as possible.
Like I said before, Rambo is a full blown killing machine and this film definitely highlights the kill part. He single handedly blows up hundreds of Vietnamese with his exploding tipped arrows and has an obligatory montage of killing men one by one. Sure we never see his transition from one hiding place to the next but it sure is entertaining seeing Rambo blending with the background and surprise attacking his enemies in different ways. Rambo also has a rather graphic run in with some leaches and gets partnered with a very attractive female freedom fighter, who has a terrible broken English and quickly falls for him. The last monologue of Stallone’s is cheesy to say the least, especially since the whole formula is so similar to the original. It’s only heightened by his dramatic walk away, which he appears to be heading absolutely nowhere, followed up by the atrocious song, “Peace in our Life” by Sylvester’s brother Frank Stallone.
The stunts are pretty impressive using helicopters and boats in a variety of ways, however the use of close up shots and smoke to mask improbable actions to get from point A to point B is an insult to the audience’s intelligence. Your feeling toward the fact that each scenario is heightened by absurdity depends completely on your enjoyment of mindless action movies and this one definitely sets a standard.
It should be noted that RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II had seven Razzie nominations but did receive one Oscar nomination and was positively revered by President Ronald Reagan claiming Rambo as a Republican. I think these drastic polar feelings toward the film are a little over dramatic and unwarranted. I could go on and on about how the film isn’t very good in a lot of ways, but it still is a darn good time.
Video: (Widescreen 2.35:1 Ratio) Very clear. The jungle of Vietnam looks colorful and vibrant.
Audio: (DTS-HD Master Audio) Verbal audio was far too quiet compared to the sound mixing of the background noise, effects and music.
Commentary by director George P. Cosmatos: He is a little tough to listen to giving a mediocre interest level of generic information. He sounds like he took more direction than gave it.
Out of the Blu Trivia: The same pop-up style commentary giving facts and information as you watch the film.
We get to win this time – Documentary (20:04) This is an interesting information talking about the difference for Rambo being more in control of this war compared to the first and allowing him to let loose on the enemy.