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Rambo: First Blood Part II

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
Rambo: First Blood Part II Movie Poster Image
Sly shoots up Vietnam in glorified '80s actioner.
  • R
  • 1985
  • 98 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 16 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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.


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.


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


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


Coca-cola machine is prominent.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byChris LP April 9, 2008
Parent of a 17 year old Written byBoom boom August 29, 2010


I loved this movie becuz it was sooo violent But I don't kids under 14.to watch it becuz it is too violent and has language inappropriate for kidz
Kid, 12 years old March 20, 2009

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 throu... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written by4kidshater September 21, 2010

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... Continue reading

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?

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.

"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.

Talk to your kids 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

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