Bad Movie Night #9
Rambo First Blood Part II
This month we go retro, looking at one of the icons that made action so great. We’re talking about the short, ripped, almost unintelligible Sly Stallone in Rambo: First Blood Part II. Rambo: First Blood is just a prologue, a character study to this beast of American cinema. This is a movie that pulled in $700 million in adjusted gross. That’s “Titanic” territory, and this doesn’t even have Winslet’s breasts.
That’s right, John Rambo is back. And he’s not content to handle a cadre of wannabe-Army National Guardsmen. No! Those were troubled times then, and we have to get right to the source of iniquity… Nam. We’re going in to save our P.O.W.s forgotten by Uncle Sam, except things are not as they seem- Rambo gets involved with a girl!
The movie opens with John in prison doing hard labor, making it believable that he is proportionately as big as Hulk Hogan. Colonel Troutman arrives, offering John a Presidential Pardon to go in to see if any prisoners are still alive. Hmm, go back to the bush or break rocks for eternity?
Once he’s dropped at base, Rambo gets a briefing and a camera. Camera? He’s supposed to go there only to take pictures, not to engage the enemy. Cut to Rambo in a chopper turning several dozen VC into Swiss cheese.
Rambo is dropped in the jungle with only a little difficulty, and he’s off looking for his contact. He nearly garrotes the first straw hat he sees but stops because she wears lipstick. They hitch a ride on a pirate boat to Vietnam, which is different than a slow boat to China, but only slightly.
At night, they arrive at the camp, and Rambo goes snooping without his camera…and finds a bunch of Rolling Stones roadie-types being held prisoner. He springs one, and they take off, VC in close pursuit. They meet some pirates, and seem to escape scott free. But the pirates double-cross them, sending Rambo into a Shatner-style rage. Rambo stabs the closest pirate with two knives the size of arrowheads and peppers the rest with a shotgun in oh, under ten seconds.
So, Rambo and the prisoner reach the extraction site, but the base commander orders the chopper to leave without them. What, a double-cross by the American government? Inconceivable.
What follows is over half an hour of running and killing, laying waste to the entirety of Vietnam and maybe Laos and Thailand as well. There were so many gratuitous explosions that when a VC pilot fell out of a chopper, we half expected his body to blow up.
Death count is unknown and not verified by any government to this day. All manner of death is indulged: gunshot, arrows, explosions, exploding arrows, neck snapping, strangulation by vine, and 31 flavors of knifing. Of course, Rambo’s own hope is a casualty when his contact/girlfriend is killed.
This movie gets four out of five kegs, only missing out on nudity. Rambo: First Blood Part II was more fantastic than we ever imagined: a bloated, bullying, boisterous affirmation that even when America is wrong, it is right.
To any doubters of that last statement we offer you Rambo’s final line: “We just want this country to love us as much as we love it.” And God bless us, everyone.