The Great Movie Re-Watch
George P. Cosmatos
Rambo returns to the jungles of Vietnam on a mission to infiltrate an enemy base-camp and rescue the American POWs still held captive there.
Rambo: First Blood Part II nearly killed my momentum in my movie re-watch. I was not in the mood to watch it at all. In the end, I had it playing in the background while I folded laundry and played Candy Crush. It is not as good as the first movie and is the birth of Rambo’s current image. It has a huge body count, tons of explosions, and lots of racism. For one brief moment, it seems to call out the government and its treatment of the entire Vietnam war situation, but it is not nearly as scathing as the first movie.
I own Part II because it came in a box set my partner purchased. I nearly convinced myself to skip over it, but it felt like cheating. I don’t hate the movie. It isn’t so violent that it makes me ill, like a couple of the films my partner owns. It’s just not a movie I need to watch more than once.
After the last movie’s events, Rambo is working on a chain gang when Troutman approaches him about a job in Vietnam. He’s given a choice to go back to Vietnam or stay on the chain gang. He chose Vietnam. He’s completely set up for what happens to him, and you know it’s going to happen because he points it out before he gets in the chopper to leave. They hire freaking Rambo to take pictures proving there are no POWs. It was massive overkill, even if there wasn’t supposed to be anyone.
There’s a woman in this one. Rambo kisses her, and then she dies, spurning him on for vengeance. It’s one of my least favorite tropes in action movies. The character was Vietnamese and was supposed to speak in broken English, but the actress did an awful job of it. She pronounced all of the words correctly and skipped over words to make it sound broken. It didn’t sound like anyone I’ve heard who is speaking their non-native language.
Rambo: First Blood Part II showed the flaw in my system. I’ve had urges to watch movies that I own from later years, but I’ve resisted. Having this one in my queue with no desire to watch it made those urges harder to ignore. I ended up starting a binge-watch of Life in Pieces while I kept putting it off.
Next up is Jumpin Jack Flash.