Rambo: First Blood Part II

  • Review Date: February 1, 2008
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1985
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Sly shoots up Vietnam in glorified '80s actioner.
  • Review Date: February 1, 2008
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1985
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

Age(i)

2
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15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Rambo mainly kills hostiles, rather than defenseless non-combatants face to face, though he doesn't seem to mind strafing an entire village. While there are "good" Vietnamese shown (mainly Rambo's love-interest), most are enemy slave drivers or pirates. Russians are torturing sadists. Elements of the U.S. military portrayed as untrustworthy worms.

Violence

Blood-spattered shooting. Characters pierced with arrows and blown up with bombs, torched with fire. A character tortured with electrocution, beating, hot metal, threatened eye gouging. Villages and war machines exploded. A U.S. military office sprayed with machine-gun ammo.

Sex

Vietnamese prostitute is a distraction in the enemy camp, and there's a towel-clad girl on a pirate ship, but nothing explicitly shown.

Language

"Bastard" and the f-word once, spoken by Rambo.

Consumerism

Coca-cola machine is prominent.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Cigarette smoking (especially by bad guys), social drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is abundant violence and killings using guns, knives, and arrows, plus grueling scenes of torture. Swearing is milder than in First Blood, but it's there, as are slight details of prostitution. Kids who don't know much about Vietnam War history probably won't be enlightened here; all that's said is "we weren't allowed to win" as Rambo burns down Indo-Chinese villages and troop convoys.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

This sequel to First Blood was a bigger, dumber, and more financially successful action-blockbuster that opened on a then-record number of movie screens. It finds the muscleman combat-hardened Vietnam-supercommando from the first movie brought out of prison to earn a possible presidential pardon. Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) has 36 hours to be air-dropped into communist Vietnam and seek evidence that American POWs are still being held captive. But his superiors -- Yuppie white-collar types only interested in a cover-up -- don't expect him to succeed. When Rambo does find an active POW camp, the Americans abandon him to evil Russian and Viet Cong forces, and Rambo has to fight his way free -- shirtless, muscles gleaming like an oiled bodybuilder, amidst giant fireball explosions.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

"I just saw RAMBO; next time I'll know what to do," famously said President Ronald Reagan, conferring a White House blessing on this action smash-hit. John Rambo, a tragic and mostly human-sized character in the first movie, got peddled aggressively as a Tarzan/Davey Crockett/G.I. Joe combo to 1980s kids, soon showing up in a weekly TV cartoon. Rambo: First Blood Part 2 is cartoonish, and in a B-movie way. When the unstoppable Rambo (he just ignores bullets fired his way half the time) kills a whole Soviet patrol one by one, in a different camouflage disguise/gimmick one edit to the next, you remember Bugs Bunny doing stuff like that to Elmer Fudd or Daffy.

Plus tie-ins with Vietnam War reality, and the melancholy legend maintained by conspiracy-thinkers, that U.S. POWs still languished in enemy hands, seem tactless -- if you take it seriously. If you do scratch below the surface, you may find this overly simplistic message: The U.S. military -- in Rambo's case, one warrior -- could have won Vietnam, or any conflict, if "they" (who? Liberals? Jews? Jane Fonda? Freemasons and Illuminati?) hadn't sabotaged the effort.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Rambo was so popular in the 1980s, when USSR occupation troops could still be found in Afghanistan, Poland, East Germany, and other Cold-War hotspots. Do you think Rambo helped the image of Vietnam veterans (often portrayed by Hollywood as dysfunctional down-and-outs) or was it just another pernicious stereotype? Some critics called Stallone's action movies "fascist" in their glorification of pumped-up white patriots with big guns/fists putting the smackdown on foreign foes. What do you think now?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 22, 1985
DVD release date:November 23, 2004
Cast:Charles Napier, Richard Crenna, Sylvester Stallone
Director:George Pan Cosmatos
Studio:Lionsgate
Genre:Action/Adventure
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:R

This review of Rambo: First Blood Part II was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written by4kidshater September 21, 2010
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

A more violent, cartoonish, boring movie than the first

This film was boring, very violent, piece of crap. It looked good, but was not. It was very dumb. Get Rambo 3 if you want more boring, violent piece of crap. I say rent it
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old March 20, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Good but a little IFFY

This movie was pretty good. There was a lot of violence but nothing Really Really bad. Just a lot of blood. For one example I remember an arrow being shot through a mans forehead. The language was a little inopropriate. I have not seen this movie in a while but I think they said the F word at least once.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written byChris LP April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

A good sequal to the superb original

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