This overwrought sequel to the popular First Blood (1982) is one mounting fireball as Sylvester Stallone’s special operations veteran is sprung from a prison labor camp by his former Green Beret commander (Richard Crenna) to find POWs in Vietnam.
That the secret mission is a cynical ruse by higher-ups which is meant to fail heightens Stallone’s fury while touching off a provocative political theme: a US government that wants to forget about POWs and accommodate the public at the same time.
The charade on the screen, which is not pulled off, is to accept that the underdog Rambo character, albeit with the help of an attractive machine-gun wielding Vietnamese girl (Julia Nickson), can waste hordes of Vietcong and Red Army contingents enroute to hauling POWs to a Thai air base in a smoking Russian chopper with only a facial scar (from a branding iron-knifepoint) marring his tough figure.
Steven Berkoff is a twisted and nominally chilly Russian advisor, but his performance is essentially the same nasty thing he did in Octopussy and Beverly Hills Cop.
1985: Nomination: Best Sound Effects Editing