Rambo Marathon: Review: Rambo III (1988)

The Rambo Marathon trots on, and I literally mean trots, as Rambo takes on a high powered helicopter with a horse, yes, a horse!

Written By: Sheldon Lettich & Sylvester Stallone
Directed By: Peter MacDonald

I don’t want to mince words in my review of Rambo III, it’s not a movie where any mincing is necessary. Yes, there are still some really poor moments of supposed heart or message, but they are bad in a good way this time around. Whereas Rambo: First Blood Part II took itself very seriously and wanted to be taken seriously, that is not the case at all with Rambo III. This is a movie that knows it is corny, knows it is all about blowing shit up, and knows its main target audience very well.

I’m not trying to gender stereotype or anything like that, but let’s be honest, Rambo III is meant for two specific groups, woman who wants to see Sylvester Stallone sans shirt and men who want to see exploding arrows. If you belong to either group then you will leave Rambo III quite happy. Sly Stallone spends about two thirds of Rambo III without a shirt on, glistening in the sun as if he had just stepped onto South Beach. Yeah, it’s all homoerotic and stuff, but I’m okay with that. And while people of all shapes and sizes swoon over the nearly naked Stallone’s body (notice I did not say face), the rest of you can be content with explosions and terrible Russian dialogue.

Now, I don’t know if the actual Russian being spoken is terrible, but the subtitles are hilariously bad. Russians are yelling to kill one another at various times, I think a character is called Vanya and Sam in the same sentence, and more. But, in my current theme of keeping it real, that’s not why we’re all here. The explosions man, the explosions. Shit be blown up hardcore in this film, like random explosions happen out of nowhere in hallways for no god damn reason. It’s clear that Stallone and the director, Peter MacDonald, decided more was better. They blow everything under the sun up in Rambo III, and then some. But, you know what, it’s filmed really well, with a lot of verve and variety. Unlike Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo III has fun with its action scenes and that in turn made me excited to see the violence happening on my screen. Yes, I just said I enjoyed the violence on my screen, a lot of us do, get over it.

Rambo III is far removed from the tone that First Blood originally set for the Rambo franchise. But, that’s a good thing in my eyes. Rambo: First Blood Part II tried to be too much like First Blood without any of the meat. That left a very gristly bird, and those never taste good. Rambo III moves so far in the other direction that it can’t help but succeed. It’s over the top, it’s corny, it’s downright bad in places, but Rambo III is also a lot of fun. It is a well made action film, and that’s all it is, you either like exploding arrows or you don’t, it’s that simple folks.

If you haven’t already, go check out Between The Seats to see what interesting things Edgar has to say about Rambo III.




2 responses to “Rambo Marathon: Review: Rambo III (1988)

  1. I swear that in the scenes when Rambo tries to rescue Trautman from the Russian base, one of the Russians says (via subtitles) that ‘he heard someone speaking in the other room.’ Speaking?!? I think you meant you to say that you heard rocket and gunfire you fucktard!

    Ugh, I can’t believe I didn’t mention the exploding arrows in my review…

  2. The Russians in this one were either super fantastic or the subtitling was awesome in the worst way.

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