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Rambo: First Blood Part II Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Sly shoots up Vietnam in glorified '80s actioner.

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.

  • 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?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    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.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: 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.

  • sex false3

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

  • language false3

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

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Coca-cola machine is prominent.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Cigarette smoking (especially by bad guys), social drinking.