|Rambo: First Blood Part II(SE)/C+,B+|
| Sylvester Stallone, face frozen like a
chiseled statue, stands at the center of Rambo: First Blood Part II. The second
coming of Rambo gives the movie star every opportunity to keep his mouth shut and use his
well oiled body to run through mountains and jungle in a series of kills worthy of a big
African hunt. Long sections of the film are virtually devoid of dialogue. And thats
just as well, since the banal speeches are uttered with wooden delivery.
Rambo: First Blood Part II, begins the mythmaking. After an interesting and relatively believable situational confrontation in the first Rambo film, the series quickly launches down the road to action cliche. You start out with John Rambo breaking rocks in prison(Michaelangelo looking for the perfect marble for a statue of himself?)when Colonel Traubman arrives on the scene to resurrect his fighting machine for a new assignment in Southeast Asia. Traubman asks Rambo to revisit the days of his glory by finding out if there are any American prisoners of war being held in Vietnam.
The villains are defined in cartoon terms. There are the mercenaries running Rambo in the operation, the sadistic Vietnamese running the prison camp and the more sadistic Russians running the Vietnamese. They get more than they bargain for with Rambo, as the ineffectual Colonel Traubman enjoys pointing out to the mercenaries. Once Rambo is haphazardly parachutes in to the jungle from a helicopter dispatched from the Thai base camp, the film is a relentless montage of stalking, killing, and torture. Will I be spoiling anyones fun if I assure you that Rambo gets even with everybody that has acted out of line in this movie. He even gets to make a couple of patriotic speeches with moving a facial muscle.
Cosmatos keeps the actors moving through bullets and explosions with little hesitation.
Cosmatoss style is "let there be action," with no subtlety. Photgraphy and
stunts are handled with expertise, Stallone performs physical feats with aplomb, and the
production team does a good job of turning mundane locales into an exotic war landscape.
Usually I find a Jerry Goldsmith score enhances a film, but with this time out the music
is so pumped it actually competes with the action.