HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Worst Person in the World, The
Whirlpool
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
Knockabout
400 Blows, The
Virus: 32
Studio 666
Great Movement, The
Lost in La Mancha
Cellar, The
Sacred Spirit, The
Chess of the Wind
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Scream
   
 
Newest Articles
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
   
 
  Rambo: First Blood Part II Army Of Me
Year: 1985
Director: George Pan Cosmatos
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Charles Napier, Steven Berkoff, Julia Nickson, Martin Kove, George Cheung, Andy Wood, William Ghent, Voyo Goric, Baoan Coleman
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: For the past few years, Vietnam War veteran John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) has been imprisoned, doing hard labour, but now his old Colonel, Trautman (Richard Crenna), arrives to meet him, speaking to him from behind a chain fence. Looking him in the eye, Trautman tells him that Rambo has been suggested to take on a one man mission in Vietnam, a mission to discover if there are any American prisoners of war left captive in the jungle. If he accepts, Rambo will receive a pardon, but when he agrees to the offer, he is more interested in one question: "Do we get to win this time?"

Well, Rambo gets to win up to a point in that he gets to take his revenge on the symbols of all who have oppressed him, but he didn't quite re-start the Vietnam conflict so he could succeed in wiping out the enemy and giving those namby pamby liberals something to chew over. Back in the mid eighties, this film was a phenomenon, with even President Ronald Reagan coming out as a fan - I say "even", but this seemed to have been made with sucking up to his administration in mind. It was written by Stallone and Terminator director James Cameron from Jean-Michel Jarre's brother Kevin Jarre's story, an unashamedly gung ho spectacular aimed at pumping up patriotic fervour.

The United States of America didn't have a war to fight during the eighties, so Hollywood provided the next best thing: beat the Commies on the silver screen instead. Stallone's other big success at the time was the similarly motivated Rocky IV, the tone of which is echoed here as it's revealed that the Soviet Union has a strong-arm presence in the Far East, and the Vietnamese army are merely the tools of the monolithic force behind the Iron Curtain. However, Rambo has another enemy to fight against, embodied by Murdock (a sweaty Charles Napier), and that's the bureaucrats back home who, it's implied, let the U.S. population down and the soldiers too by not letting them win the war.

When Rambo lands at the American base, he is told by Murdock that his mission is to take photographs only, not to engage the enemy, and that's exactly what he does. Only joking, the way our hero lovingly fingers his massive penis, sorry, hunting knife, it's plain to see that he's all geared up for any number of acts of violence. Yes, fetishism is the name of the game here, with the camera dwelling on Stallone's muscled form and his weaponry with equal relish, even adopting a drooling, sado-masochistic approach to any abuse Rambo not only doles out, but suffers as well, with dubiously Christ-like poses struck by him.

But if you thought that the Vietnamese might take offence at the way they're bumped off with such enthusiasm, don't worry because there's one nice local. Only one, mind you, but that's better than nothing, and she's Co Bao (Julia Nickson), Rambo's contact who speaks in halting English and looks all set to be his love interest, but naturally the moment they share a kiss she is immediately destroyed by the baddies. This is all the excuse Rambo needs to increase the pressure and kill as many Commies as possible, all in the name of saving the handful of P.O.W.s he finds imprisoned - P.O.W.s who he wasn't actually supposed to find.

During the eighties, two threads of entertainment in cinema saw as many characters killed off in as inventive ways as possible; one was the slasher movie and the other was, like this, the action movie, and here "fighting machine" Rambo is happy to assist in fuelling the audience's bloodlust by firing explosive-tipped arrows and rocket launchers and stabbing as many bad guys as the running time will allow. There's hardly any plot at all, just the usual clich├ęs - Steven Berkoff shows up as a Russian colonel to torture Rambo and for us to hiss at - and as much death and destruction that will fit into an hour and a half. It's laughable now, yet the film's overbearing devotion to mayhem and hollow, humourless, right wing mythmaking really caught the mood of a lot of people in its day. Followed by a (flop) second sequel in 1988 and an even more violent revival in 2007, plus a much-delayed conclusion in 2019. Music by Jerry Goldsmith.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6086 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: