It’s hard to believe that when Canadian wunderkind Ted Kotcheff (Weekend at Bernie’s) directed First Blood, later renamed Rambo:First Blood, that he could have foreseen the original intent of the film becoming a ridiculous parody of itself. Originally shot in Hope, the first installment had an honourable Vietnam vet being treated like a regular vagrant and declaring a personal war on the small town authorities who were determined to teach him a lesson. It was an original and bad ass story, filled with social commentary and political savagery about the nature of war and authority. But that’s where things kind of got weird. First Blood had a clear and straight forward title, a concise narrative and a story that reinforced the complicated existence of those who had seen the horrors of war and given up their humanity in the name of their country, only to return home to be treated like outcasts. Nice and tidy.
Following the success of First Blood on video, the franchise began to roll into gear and the second film, Rambo:First Blood part 2 has John Rambo being released from prison in order to go back to Vietnam on a top secret mission to save some P.O.W’s still trapped there. Then the third movie came out, Rambo 3, with a now iconic red headband wearing Rambo in Afghanistan fighting those pesky Ruskies. Yeah Taliban? Nevermind that Rambo has continually been betrayed by his country and government, making him either an idiot or a simple automated killing machine. Nevermind that now Sylvester Stallone is reviving the character by writing and directing a fourth film titled simply Rambo, where he fights the Burmese Army in order to help save a group of Christian aid workers who have gone missing. Nevermind any of this, because what we want to know is what happened to Rambo 2? Where is it? We got First Blood, Rambo: First Blood part 2, Rambo 3 and now Rambo, but no Rambo 2. What the hell is that? How does something like that happen? Who’s running this name game and why is it so complicated? Well, nevermind that either because we’re just gonna jump in there and remake Rocky 3.