Movies - TV
Rambo: First Blood Part II Ending Explained:
The Bloody
Legacy Of A Blockbuster Lie
By JEREMY SMITH
“Rambo: First Blood Part II'' transforms the first movie's traumatized John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) into a hyper-macho military hero. The film exploits the hopes of American POWs’ families awaiting their return from Vietnam, and voices veterans’ disillusionment with the U.S. government and citizens.
Rambo has to obtain photographic evidence of U.S. POWs being held in Vietnam in exchange for his freedom. However, he is also determined to “win this time,” despite being secretly plotted against by Roger Murdoch (Charles Napier), who has underestimated Rambo’s capacity for bloodshed.
Despite the film’s nonsensically thrilling sequences, it ends on a thematically odd note. A bunch of Russians mess around with Rambo, he unleashes hell on them, kills them, and returns with a group of POWs, only to wander off. In doing this, he symbolizes the resentful Vietnam veteran, rousing our sympathy.
Stallone was able to use his Hollywood powers to paint a fantasy of Rambo as a symbol of the U.S. military’s invincibility after the Vietnam War failed. “First Blood Part II” spun a corrective — yet extremely damaging — lie to pacify the disillusioned American public, and it is still believed by many to this day.