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the second instalment in the Rambo saga
on 6 June 2016
"Rambo: First Blood Part 2" (1985) is a violent action film, written by Sylvester Stallone and James Cameron. Here, Stallone reprises his role as John Rambo, an ex-special forces Vietnam veteran who's suffering from post-traumatic stress as a consequence of the War. This film is a sequel to the original 'First Blood' movie (based on the bestselling novel by David Morrell), and it's set a few years after the events depicted in that earlier film (which ended with Rambo being detained by the authorities, following the mayhem he caused after going on the run from the police) .
This second instalment in the movie series opens with Rambo being released from prison - on the condition that he undertakes a covert mission for the CIA. He's tasked with secretly entering Vietnam and taking photos of any remaining American POW's at an old (supposedly abandoned) camp. Rambo agrees - but isn't satisfied with photos. He finds POW's and rescues one ... only the CIA don't like this eventuality, and it's decided to leave Rambo behind enemy lines. Rambo's captured and tortured. Yet he manages to escape, battles the Vietnam soldiers (and the Soviet ones also stationed there), rescues the POW's and then flies to an American base across the border.
For its time, this was an intense action movie - and even today (over 30 years later) the action sequences hold up. Rambo is depicted as, quite literally, a one-man army - capable of enduring horrendous tortures, refusing to break, and always ready to fight back. When enraged, he's unstoppable.
This is one of the most popular of Stallone's films. Okay, its plot is fairly simple and straightforward. Yet this movie was a defining element in 1980's Western popular culture. If you're a fan of action films, I thoroughly recommend it. It helps to have watched "First Blood", but that isn't essential. This Blu-ray edition presents very good video and audio quality - but, unfortunately, there are few extras. Just to say, a Blu-ray box set of all four Rambo films is available.