on November 29, 2004
"The war and all this may be wrong, but, dammit don't hate your country for it."
"Hey..., I'd die for it."
"Then what do you want?"
"I want..., what they want. And every other guy that came over here & gave everything he had & spilled his guts, wants. For our country to love us, as much as we love it. That is what I want."
- Rambo speaks, to his Colonel, as the voice of every American Veteran, (past, present, & future) & reminds Americans & the world over that freedom has a price thats worth fighting for, but, sometimes the simple personal rewards are elusive in "Rambo: First Blood Part II"
Thanks to the big screen & video success of "First Blood", Rambo lives on this second installment, thats just as good as the previous film, but, tends to get quite cartoonish towards the films end.
Serving a five year plus jail sentence for the trashing of the town in "First Blood", "Rambo" opens with the former Green Beret hammering rocks in the local prison. That doesn't last long as Colonel Sam Trautman, Rambo's former CO in the military, pays him a visit & offering him a sweet deal.
Satelite recon had picked up some unexpected movement in the P.O.W. camp that Rambo escaped from in '71. The camp is supposed to be abandoned, but, may still be holding some of Rambo's former P.O.W.'s. Rambo's mission is to sneak into the camp and take pictures & document actions of the camp's activities and report back to base. Trautman & American Forces would step in and invade the camp reclaiming & bringing home the P.O.W.'s. This would also lead to Rambo being reinstated in the special forces and, if the mission is a success, a Presidential Pardon on his prison record, with Rambo walking away a free man.
Rambo reluctantly accepts the challenge, but, upon sneaking into the camp he does indeed find many American Troops still being held hostage beaten, malnutritioned, and one breath away from death. Rambo screws his Kodak moment, taking matters into his own hands. If you've watched "First Blood" you know what happens next.
Filmed entirely in Mexico, "Rambo" is a different film than the first, but retains and expands the violence quotient. Stallone exchanged working in weather that was ten to fifteen below zero & wading in water thats 39 degrees farenheit (remember the scene in "First Blood" where the National Guard is out looking for Rambo who was all along hiding amongst the rocks of the river? Yeah, that water was 39 degrees farenheit. Thats cold ass water to be hiding in). Instead, for "Rambo", Sly worked in weather that reached 110 degrees and, in one scene where Rambo is captured by the Viet Cong, is dipped, from the neck down, in pig slop complete with real live leeches (the Russian General uses Rambo's knife to pick one off his chest. Gross).
The helicopter battle at the end of the film was pretty dangerous. The helicopters flew so low, that in one quick shot of the Russian copter flying over one of the huts, the copter takes the roof off! Director George P. Cosmatos left the scene in to show the danger & peril of the battle.
Stallone's daily schedule was getting up and working out for two to three hours in the early morning, a ten to twelve hour shooting day, & a two to three hour workout at night. All told, Stallone's average work week with the workouts included was approx. 80 to 90 hours a week. Its also said that Stallone was at his leanest, practically resculpturing his body for this movie, as well as, for "Rocky IV".
"Rambo: First Blood Part II" was released for the Memorial Day weekend of 1985, and proceeded to punch a hole in American pop-culture. Everything from toys, bubble gum cards, & a cartoon series were produced to cash in on the success of the film.
As for the S.E. DVD, this is definitely the definitive edition of the film (the recent Ultimate Edition is a dissapointment). Features include a retrospective of the film from Cosmatos, Stallone, Richard Crenna & others, to trailers, an audio commentary from the director, DTS audio soundtrack with Dolby Digital & surround. Rambo is not expendable and neither is this DVD.