Rambo III

by Alan Rapp on January 24, 2008

in Home Video

  • Title: Rambo III
  • IMDB: link

“Why do you do this?”
“‘Cause he would do it for me.”

After returning from his mission in Rambo: First Blood Part II and earning his freedom, Rambo is once again pulled back into the fray when his friend and mentor is captured and held hostage in Afghanistan. He needs to be rescued, and there’s only one man for the job. Rambo’s back, and he’s brought along a pointed political message to go with the large number of Communist baddies he’s going to kill.

Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) leaves his life of stick fighting and tinkering in a monastery (huh?) to save his friend and former commander Col. Trautman (Richard Crenna) who was captured while delivering weapons to rebels in Afghanistan.  Now held by a sadistic Soviet commander (Marc de Jonge), his only hope is rescue, and there’s only one man up to the job.  Cue the music.

Rambo goes off to Afghanistan and with the (minimal) help of some rebels manages to save his friend and kill an amazing number of Russians at the same time.  According to Wikipedia – The Guinness Book of World Records states Rambo III “is the most violent movie with 221 acts of violence, at least 70 explosions, and over 108 deaths.”

The character’s super-human abilities which began to get out of control in the last film are restrained by no limits this time around.  And the scenes become more and more outrageous as Rambo brings down helicopters with arrows, and navigates a minefield with only his knife.

Although the film brings the action, and plenty of dead Soviets, it also strains believability well past the breaking point.  Also troubling are the politics which have grown more and more preachy as the series has continued.  It’s as much a propaganda film in favor of the noble Afghani rebels and against the evil Soviet Empire as it is an action flick.  And it’s far from subtle.  Included are speeches praising the rebels, to which the film is dedicated.  I don’t mind a little politics in my mindless action romps (as both the first two films had) but this entry actually trips over itself in promoting its Cold War message.

It’s a lackluster third entry into the franchise providing a staggering body count, but also taking the long way around in crazywackyfuntown with all it’s logic issues and preachiness.  The film did fair overseas, but unlike its prequels Rambo III was a box office disappointment in the United States, and one that would kill the franchise for two decades.  That is, until now.

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