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Rambo: First Blood Part 2 4K UHD Review

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“Rambo: First Blood Part 2” offers up more action.

In the second film of the series, the story begins with John Rambo still in prison. He is visited by his former Commander and friend Colonel Trautman who is hoping to recruit him for a covert recon operation to find MIA POWs in Vietnam. He is assigned to only get photographic proof and not engage, but, of course, he breaks those orders and hopes to save POWs himself. Alas, this is no simple mission as he faces off against Vietnamese soldiers, pirates, Soviet soldiers (who are arming Vietnamese soldiers), and a shady Government official named Murdock.

After the more nuanced and poignant “First Blood,” it’s rather strange that “Rambo: First Blood Part 2” took the franchise into an entirely different direction. The film solidified the Rambo we have all come to know in this day and age. The muscle bound one man army of a few words who is armed with big guns, a red bandana, a bow and arrow, and a necklace. The sequel also upped the ante in the action department to put it politely. This is very much a quintessential 80s action movie that is filled with explosions, violence, creative deaths, a couple one-liners, and a big body count. It’s all very over-the-top and excessive, but it’s hard not get swept up into it. I mean, Rambo blows up a guy with an arrow bomb!

As action packed as the movie is, the story by Sylvester Stallone and James Cameron lacks the depth of the original. The idea of Rambo going back to Vietnam for a mission is ripe with potential, but the movie never really digs into that concept enough. There was a real missed opportunity to not explore the psychological impact of this not to mention Rambo’s psyche. Still, that’s not to say there’s some provoking material here. The movie does dive into topics not frequently touched upon like missing POWs. At the same time, there’s also a rather overblown patriotic bent to everything that makes it feel rather tone deaf in this day and age.

Much like the first film, Sylvester Stallone and Richard Crenna deliver stand-outs performances and their dynamic together is the most engaging character aspect of the entire franchise.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 2160p. How does it look? This is another solid upgrade although the Blu-ray also looks spectacular.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does this sound? This track does not disappoint as it delivers high quality sound (especially during the epic action sequences).

Extras:
* Digital copy
* Blu-ray copy
* Original trailer and TV spots
* Separate interviews with Stallone and Richard Crenna.
* “The Restoration”- Another comparison look at the previous print and the restoration.
* “Behind The Scenes”- 2 minutes of set footage.
* “How To Become Rambo Part 2”- Another physical fitness regiment extra.
* “Sean Baker- Fulfilling A Dream”- A segment on a fan with cancer who got to visit the set and hang out with Stallone.
* “The Last American POW”- A segment on POWs that also ties in with the “Rambo: First Blood Part 2.”
* “Action In The Jungle”- An old school featurette on the film.
* “We Get To Win This Time”- A 20 minute featurette on the film containing interviews, discussions about the original script, and more.
* “Rambo Takes The 80s Part 2”- The second part that explores, you guessed it, the second film.
* A not so exciting commentary by director George P. Cosmatos. Expect lots of quiet spots.

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November 15, 2018 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , ,

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