RAMBO WARRIOR MOVIE REVIEW: “Rambo III” stars Sylvester Stallone (Cliffhanger, Rocky II), Richard Crenna (Hot Shots! Part Deux, Summer Rental), Marc de Jonge (Empire of the Sun, Little Indian Big City), Kurtwood Smith (That 70’s Show [TV series], RoboCop ), Spyros Foka (The Jewel of the Nile, Rocco and His Brothers), Sasson Gabai (The Band’s Visit, Time for Changes), Marcus Gilbert (Army of Darkness, Uncle Silas), and Alon Aboutboul (The Dark Knight Rises, Body of Lies). It is directed by Peter MacDonald (Mo’ Money, Legionnaire) and written by Sylvester Stallone and Sheldon Lettich (Max, Double Impact). John Rambo (Stallone) thought he was done with fighting battles he never started, until he is pulled into a struggle between Soviet froces and Afghanistan rebels. Colonel Trautman (Crenna), one of his remaining friends, is taken captive by the Soviets, and only Rambo can get him out.
Could it get any bigger? Any bolder? Any more explosive? Why yes, yes it can. “Rambo III” is the crazy, testosterone-fueled set in Afghanistan sequel you always wanted. Or is it? To be honest, this is on the same level as the last movie, if not slightly better. Rambo is asked to help in another war, he declines, but is sucked into it when a friend of his is taken as prisoner. From then on, it’s a fight to the death, with a few helicopter firing sprees, gun battles, and games with horses; all of which taking place in a desert of sorts. When comparing locations, I think I liked Afghanistan over Vietnam. The sandy atmosphere and feeling of desolation/solitude fits the tone of Rambo nicely, and it also provided for some sweet shots of both landscapes and action sequences. Speaking of which, the action was pretty cool. There were some awesome fight sequences and mass destruction that ensued, even in the silly final battle that saw Rambo and his commander try to take on a whole fleet of soldiers, tanks, army vehicles, and a helicopter all by themselves (thankfully, they received help). There’s entertainment value to “Rambo III,” but much like the previous feature, what you see is what you get. A war is taking place that Rambo didn’t sign up for, yet he fights in for the sake of saving people. Within the runtime there’ll be a few conversations of freedom and finding one’s place, as we’re used to, but there isn’t much that gets changed up besides the location. The circumstance is still the same, and we are locked in for the ride. There’s some differences, like seeing Rambo’s commander get involved in the action (though he hardly lifted a finger until the end), as well as a little bit of development given to Rambo in the beginning (more so than in “First Blood 2”). It’s the longest feature in the franchise too, and it can get easy to feel the minutes every now and then. I think that once Rambo gets to Afghanistan the build up can be a bit too slow, but there’s enough conflict mixed in to make things somewhat interesting. We all know how things will turn out for these characters, it’s all just a matter of how much destruction will there be to get to those means. The end result? A lot of destruction. I’ll hand it to the filmmakers for making a few emotional moments; nothing to make you cry, but just feel sorry for the innocents. The story of this film was pretty timely with the war that was actually going on during its initial release, so I’m sure it hit home for some people. If there’s anything you can give “Rambo III” credit for it’s retaining the character of John Rambo to where he is a sympathetic guy just trying to do the right thing. He isn’t as mindless as the action that takes place, it’s only a means to an end for him. And I think that’s why these movies haven’t severely plummeted in quality for me. Granted, I’m not giving “Rambo III” a recommendable rating, but I will say that it’s an entertaining release that has a good heart behind it. This may not be found in the silly moments that can occur in the fight sequences, but it’s everywhere else. Sylvester Stallone has co-written every script, so the man is passionate about this character and his world. I would go on to state that “Rambo III” is better than “First Blood Part 2”; it may not be by much (only one point), but I thought that overall it was a more well-rounded flick that didn’t grow repetitive in story structure (like the going back-and-forth “First Blood 2” provided). It’s a solid send-off to the character of Rambo as well, even though more films were made several years later (yes, a new one is coming). If you wanna watch it, go ahead. It’s nothing special, but it gets the job done with the story it was given and the action sequences it displayed. FINAL SCORE: 69%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: