Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985): Breakdown by Rantbo
Vietnam–Round Two. And Rambo gets to win this time. By attrition.
…and returning to the land of his birth. ‘Nam. Descending from the heavens (via parachute), he is reborn in the freshly spilt blood of the vile Vietcong. They took from him his humanity, his self-worth and his will to live; but they could never take is his honor, his sense of duty or his desire to win.
RAMBO takes a giant leap off the believability scale. It doesn’t bury the needle like part III does, but compared to part one, holy shit. Rambo becomes the fabled one-man-killing-machine hinted at in FIRST BLOOD. It makes it hard to believe that with this guy fighting for our side the first time around, we got our asses handed to us so vehemently by the VC.
The political bullshit gets quite a bump to the right this time around as well. The whole concept of Rambo’s mission is to prove that the Vietcong are withholding the release of White American POW’s for neglected war reparations. Something that would have never been an issue had the liberal pussies in Washington just left the war up to the men fighting it. Luckily, Rambo is here to right the wrongs of a decade-old war. But even riddled with this heavy subject matter, the film is a fucking blast. And you know what? It’s one of my top 5 favorite action movies of all time. In a flick where you get to watch a shirtless Stallone murder 70+ commies, blow-up more buildings and vehicles than Michael Bay has in a decade AND knee Martin Kove in the balls–how could this not be?
[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]
Sylvester Stallone is Re-Instated Green Beret John J. Rambo
“Rambo, John J. Born 7-6-47 in Bowie, Arizona. Of Indian-German descent–that’s a hell of a combination. Joined the army 8-6-64. Accepted special forces, specialization: light weapon, medic, helicopter and language qualified. 59 confirmed kills. Two Silver Stars, four Bronze, four Purple Hearts. Distinguished Service Cross and Medal of Honor.” and a dead Cong stuck to a tree.
“Let me just say that Rambo is the best combat vet I’ve ever seen. A pure fighting machine, with only a desire to win a war someone else lost. And if winning means he has to die, he’ll die. No fear, no regrets. And uh, one more thing–what you choose to call Hell, he calls home.”
If that’s not enough, there is a point in the third act where Rambo boards an enemy aircraft and rather than stick around and face what horrors Rambo could inflict upon him, the pilot jumps to his death. That’s right. Falling a couple hundred feet onto jagged rocks seemed like a preferable choice in the pilot’s mind, than waiting for Rambo to get his mitts on him. That’s the power of John J. Rambo.
[THE BODY COUNT: 82, + A CHICKEN]
Rambo single-handedly wipes out 72 evil brown jungle rats and blood red Russian commies. If you add to this the number of confirmed kills from his dossier, Rambo is sitting pretty with 131 dead by his hand. Plus 5 animals. And this is only the second movie. Rambo’s female sidekick, Co, also manages a handful of kills as does an army helicopter pilot and a single kill by an escaped POW, bringing another 9 kills to the good guys’ total. And the bad guys?: One–Just one. HaHa.
NOTE: Since you don’t actually see the dossier kills, I did not officially add them to his total.
[MOST SATISFYING DEATH]
There are quite a few memorable ones, like the Cong that gets shot through the head with an arrow and stuck to a tree. That was a good one. Or the guy that Rambo drags into a rock crevice, who is too terrified to scream. But the one I like best is the death of the Penultimate Main Villain. Rambo dispatches of this nasty little fucker by shooting him in the chest with an explosive-tipped arrow and he explodes like a tomato in a microwave. BLAMMO! It’s a fitting end for the one Cong talented enough to score a point against team America.
[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]
The film opens on an explosion and a bunch of sweaty men hitting things with hammers in a prison camp. They say that prison changes a man and Rambo is no exception. He is at least twice as sweaty and twice as shirtless now. All the work in the rock quarry seems to have pumped up his pecks as well. Tasty.
Rambo marches through the jungle for 90% of the film, half naked and attached in some way to a phallic death machine. His giant knife is essentially an extension of his dick and he uses it to fuck more men than the entire cast of QUEER EYE has in their lifetime. He is so macho, rarely will a minute pass that doesn’t feature him grunting and groaning in some fashion. Also, Rambo re-defined the term ‘flop-sweat’ with this entry. He simply shimmers. It helps that he is “naturally” hairless, so his pecks have a constant, ‘just been oiled’ sheen to them, making his physic all the more God-like and homosexually appealing.
Rambo is yet again a loner, so there isn’t much fraternizing with fellow beefcakes, but there is a scene in which he is tortured by being soaked in pig shit. When finally raised out of his “mud-bath”, he is revealed to be wearing nothing but a thong and leeches. And then the Penultimate Cong grabs his arm and feels up his bicep for no reason that I can tell outside of logging a physical memory entry for the old spank-bank.
[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]
The only woman in the film is Rambo’s liaison, Co Bao (Julia Nickson). Well, that’s not entirely true, there is a Vietnamese hooker that fucks all the troops of an internment camp, with a smile. But I’ll take the high-road and not mention her.
Co is shown as a tough-as-nails resistance fighter, filling the shoes of her father before her. She’s an ace with a AK and beautiful to boot. So, where is the misogyny you ask? Well, literally 30 seconds after she shares an awkward closed-mouth kiss with Rambo, she is riddled with bullets and dies floating in her own blood. That’s what you get for thinking you can taint Rambo’s body with filthy femininity.
[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]
I have to go with the sequence in which Rambo “becomes” the jungle and takes out an entire platoon of Comrades with nothing but a bow, some vines and his dic–knife. It’s a great throwback to the first movie, but better because this time he actually kills mother fuckers. A lot of them. And violently, I might add.
For best one-liner, I think it’s a tie. First, there’s a quotable nugget of awesomeness from a conversation Rambo has with Co.
Co: “What you want?”
Rambo: “To win. To survive.”
Co: “That’s your reason to survive? Still war here.”
Rambo: “To survive a war–you gotta become war.”
Next, after being sold out by his commanding officer, Marshall Murdock, Rambo has the following exchange when forced to contact his people.
Trautman: “He’s here.”
Murdock: “Rambo, this is Murdock, we’re glad you’re alive. Where the hell are you? Give us your position and we’ll come to pick you up.”
Rambo: “Murdock… [Lightning Strikes, Thunder Rumbles, Knuckles Crack] I’m coming to get you!”
[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]
Rambo is NOT expendable.
[THE STALLOWNAGE OF SLY: 5 outta 5]
[X] Frank Stallone/Frank Stallone-esque Inspirational Music
[X] Incapacitates or Kills Someone With His Body
[X] Shows Off Buffness
[X] Social Outcast [Underdog, Has Been, etc]
[X] Sweaty, Veiny Yelling
[THE CHECKLIST: 20 outta 25]
[ ] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[X] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[X] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[ ] Manly Embrace(s)
[X] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting [Sven-Ole Thorsen]
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[ ] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[ ] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[ ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Sequel [Rambo III]
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice