Rambo: First Blood Part II, released on May 22, 1985, is the second movie in the Rambo series, starring Sylvester Stallone as Vietnam veteran John Rambo. Picking up where the first film left, this sequel sees Rambo released from prison by Federal order to document the possible existence of POWs in Vietnam, under the belief that he will find nothing, thus enabling the government to sweep the issue under the rug.
The movie, which had a then-enormous budget of $44 million, became a huge box-office success. Earning just over $150 million in North America and just under that amount in the rest of the world, it was the second most successful movie of 1985 in North America, behind Back to the Future and just ahead of Rocky IV, giving Stallone two of three top grossing movies of that year. This film captured the attention of President Ronald Reagan and he lauded Stallone for portraying Rambo as a symbol of the U.S. Army.
The movie was criticized for being a mindless action film and it was selected as Worst Picture at the 1985 Golden Raspberry Awards. It also topped the categories Worst Actor (Sylvester Stallone), Worst Screenplay (by Sylvester Stallone and James Cameron) and Worst "Original" Song ("Peace in Our Life").
Rambo: First Blood Part II was ghost-directed by George P. Cosmatos, who later directed the movie Cobra with Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen. It was later revealed that Stallone had most of the directorial control on Rambo.
However, during the extraction, Marshall Murdock, a square-jawed bureaucrat in charge of the operation, orders that Rambo be abandoned, and all documentation of POWs be destroyed, much to Colonel Trautman's dismay. Trautman criticizes Murdock for abandoning Rambo and the POWs, but Murdock ignores him. Rambo is taken into captivity by soldiers from the Vietnamese army, and is tortured by Soviet military personnel led by the sadistic Lt. Col. Podovsky. With the help of Co (who is later killed), Rambo escapes, annihilates the Vietnamese and Soviet forces pursuing him, and attempts to fly back to Thailand with the POWs, only to be blocked by Podovsky's massive Soviet Attack Helicopter. Although Podovsky inflicts much damage on Rambo's helicopter, Rambo destroys the Attack Helicopter with a rocket launcher, killing the Soviet Lt. Col.
Rambo flies back to Thailand successfully, much to Murdock's dismay. An angry Rambo marches dramatically into Murdock's command center and proceeds to shoot most of it down with a machine gun, while Trautman watches passively. He then unsheathes his survival knife and advances on Murdock and threatens him to find the remaining POWs, or he will find him. In the end, Rambo tells Trautman that he'd die for his country and that he (and other veterans) deeply wants his country to love him as much as he loves it. As he walks away into the unknown, Trautman asks, "How will you live?". Rambo responds, "Day by day".
In the Italian horror movie Demons III: The Ogre, Tom and Bobby get lost in a forest close to the castle they rented for their summer vacation. Tom calls Bobby "Rambo Junior" when he maintains they are not lost.
In the opening scene of the film Gremlins 2, Gizmo sees a brief scene on a TV set from First Blood Part II and hears Rambo says "To survive a war, you got to become war." This sticks with Gizmo throughout the film when he has been abused one too many times by the Gremlins and starts learning how to fight back, forging a weapon similar to Rambo's grenade bow and arrow with common office supplies and fashioning himself a headband similar to what Rambo wore.
Many sounds from the movie were used by the band with the similar name, first blood.