Rambo: First Blood Part II [1985]

After Rocky and its sequels, Sylvester Stallone cast about for another character that would bring him the same kind of box-office hit--and found it in disillusioned Vietnam vet John Rambo in First Blood, a solid little action thriller. So when all else failed, Stallone went back to the same well in hopes of recapturing the same commercial success. Which this film did. But where First Blood was a no-nonsense thriller that pitted Stallone against a worthy (and not necessarily bad) Brian Dennehy, this one is a sadistic chest-thumper in which Rambo gets to go back to Vietnam: ostensibly, he's there to rescue missing POWs, but in fact the movie was a lame excuse for him to refight the Vietnam War--and win. Audiences ate up the cruel Vietcong (and their Russian manipulators) and Stallone's bogus heroics, but it was strictly by-the-numbers action. --Marshall Fine

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Trautman:
What are you doing? Do you know what the hell you've done?

Murdock:
Don't act so innocent, Colonel. You had your suspicions, and if you suspected then you're sort of an accessory aren't ya?

Trautman:
Don't ever count me with you and your scum! It was a lie wasn't it? Just like the whole damn war, it was a lie!

Murdock:
What are you talking about?

Trautman:
That camp... was supposed to be empty. Rambo goes in, a decorated vet, he finds no POWs, the Congress buys it - case closed! And if he happens to get caught, nobody knows he's alive except you and your computers... and you can reprogram that can't you?

Murdock:
Who the hell do you think you're talking to, Trautman?

Trautman:
A stinkin' bureaucrat who's tryin to cover his ass!

Murdock:
No, not just mine Trautman. We're talkin' about a nation here! Besides, it was your hero's fault. Now if your warrior had gone in and done what the hell he was supposed to do, we'd be out of this clean and simple. He was just supposed to take pictures!

Trautman:
And if those pictures showed something they would have been... lost... wouldn't they?

Murdock:
Oh Trautman, I still don't think you understand what this is all about.

Trautman:
The same as it always is! Money! In '72 we were supposed to pay the Cong four-and-a-half billion in war reparations. We reneged, they kept the POWs... and you're doing the same thing all over again.

Murdock:
And what the hell would you do, Trautman? Pay blackmail money to ransom our own men and finance the war effort against our allies? What if some burn-out POW shows up on the six o-clock news? What do you want to do... start the war all over again? You wanna bomb Hanoi? You want everybody screaming for armed invasion? Do you honestly think somebody's gonna get up on the floor of the United States Senate, and ask for billions of dollars for a couple of forgotten ghosts?

Trautman:
Men, Goddamn it! Men... who fought for their country!

Murdock:
That's enough! Trautman, I'm gonna forget this conversation ever took place.

Trautman:
You bastard!

Murdock:
And if I were you... I'd never make the mistake of bringing this subject up again.

Trautman:
Oh you're the one who's making the mistake.

Murdock:
Yeah? What mistake?

Trautman:
Rambo.

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