https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1258&reviewer=293

Rambo: First Blood Part 2

Reviewed By MP Bartley
Posted 01/06/05 02:36:30

"Vietnam: the replay."
1 stars (Total Crap)

Any American war film will inevitably be accused of rewriting history for their own needs. 'U571' took away the success of a British Navy mission and gave it to the Americans, presumably to placate the rednecks who can't understand that America didn't win everything in WW2. 'The Patriot' again twisted the truth just to make the 'bad guys' REALLY bad. But 'Rambo 2' stand out as perhaps the only American war film to openly acknowledge it's trying to change history.

It comes when Richard Crenna informs Rambo that he's going back into Vietnam to track down some missing POW's. "Do we get to win this time?" growls Stallone. Oh yes you do Rambo, no doubt about that, because 'Rambo: First Blood Part 2', reveals an America filled with self-loathing and loathing for anyone else.

Look to how magnificent America portrays herself here: huge helicopters swooping over terrified peasants in rice fields, Rambo is going out to win a war "someone else lost". Certainly not America anyway. Or Reagan's America anyway. Because here's Rambo, a snarling Republican right poster boy strapping up the guns and going in to get the guys that the 'previous administration' left behind. Was America wrong to be in Vietnam? Hell no! But those damn lefties sure were wrong leaving those men out there, betraying their own country because "they didn't do what they were supposed to do". Which is burn, bomb and maim peasants presumably

So now we have a Vietnam woman simpering over Rambo, telling him how she wants to go to America for the quiet life. The Vietnamese are to blame anyway - they reneged on a deal made by the Liberals to pay for the return of the POW's. Those damn pinky Liberals making deals with the slantys! This is an America absolutely unapologetic for Vietnam (check out the helicopter attack sequence - a virtual replay of 'Apocalypse Now' - except this is pro-war. A literal replay of Vietnam to soothe those troubled right-wing brows, by telling them it was all ok).

This is foreign policy boiled down to its dumbest (I imagine Dubya saw this and took it onboard as policy), just look at the nameless legions of Vietnamese mown down and then try and find their names in the credit list. Just look at the Russians arming the Vietnamese and try not to think of Rumsfeld, Sadaam and Iraq (and notice just how these Russians sound like Nazis).

And try not to laugh when Stallone gets all teary at the end:

"Don't hate your country, Rambo"

"I'll die for it!"

and

"All we want is for our country to love us as much as we love it!

America must have really hated herself at the time for the Vietnam war to replay it in such a casual, immoral manner. But when you've got Rambo on your side who needs morals? See the mighty Rambo take down an entire army with one machine gun! Thrill as Rambo never manages to get hit despite being in full view of a whole platoon! Gasp as he avoids detection by helicopter, traverse any terrain and blow up tanks and towers with one shot from his mighty bow!

Yes, the action sequences may be well shot but this is also one of the gayest action movies ever made. Just look at how the leader of the Russians (Steven Berkoff) salivates over Rambo's near naked body "You are strong! Very strong!". Think of how many men in this film get sado-masochistic kicks by inflicting pain on Rambo's beefcake body. We're never short of glistening, slick close-ups of his bulging muscles including one at the beginning where Rambo's arm flexes and bulges as he sheathes his dagger.

At least I think it's his dagger.

It's basically as gay as a bowlful of tulips.

And just so you remember, go Reagan, go America and GO RAMBO!!

© Copyright HBS Entertainment, Inc.