While the taught thriller First Blood was a surprise success that introduced the character of John Rambo (who was never supposed to survive the ending) along with the "Rambo knife," it was the bigger-than-life sequel that cemented the character as a pop culture icon—a muscled, shirtless warrior with long hair, a red headband, and an M60, or an RPG, in his hands.
We find John Rambo at the beginning of this film serving out his prison sentence for the crimes he committed in the first movie working in a hard labor camp, literally breaking rocks.
Rambo is offered the opportunity to score a win for the POWs and MIA soldiers, Marines, and sailors of the Vietnam War who were never recovered, as well as a presidential pardon, by a familiar face who shows up as a visitor: Col. Sam Trautman.
A little piece of trivia for you movie nerds out there—director James Cameron actually wrote the first draft of the script for this movie in 1983 and titled it "First Blood II: The Mission". Stallone kept the core idea, but rewrote about 90 percent of it. Originally, Trautman found Rambo locked away in the neuropsychiatric wing of a VA hospital in North Carolina.