Rambo III (1988)


Action | War


Peter MacDonald




Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Kurtwood Smith, Marc de Jonge, Sasson Gabai, Doudi Shoua, Spiros Focas, Randy Raney, Marcus Gilbert, Alon Abutbul, Mahmoud Assadollahi, Yosef Shiloah


When his friend Colonel Trautman (Richard Crenna) is captured by Soviets during a mission in Afghanistan, John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) sets out to rescue him while taking on the brutal Colonel Zaysen (Marc de Jonge) and his army. 


"First Blood" was nothing short of great. "Rambo: First Blood II" was nothing but an exciting action flick. "Rambo III" is nothing. Period. No, actually it is something, a dreadful and unwatchable action flick.

The plot has finally lost all the plausibility. It is also boring. There is so much nonsense going on, it's impossible to keep track of it. I'm still trying to understand why the Russians attack the Afghan village but then decide to leave. But what do you even need a decent plot for when you have John Rambo? The answer is simple, you don't need one. Apparently.

And it would have been fine with me if only the filmmakers kept portraying Rambo as a good man repeatedly being let down by his country. Like in the first film and kind of in the second. But it's so much more fun to have a character that is a shirtless, indestructible killing machine capable of destroying Russian armies and taking down helicopters with a bow and arrow that is also a stupid, one-dimensional, flat character rather than having a real person.

But those are not the only problems here, after all those are pretty common in action films. Not very common (or normal) for an action flick, however, is the lack of good action. Awfully paced, it is very poorly done and ridiculous - especially in that "climactic" final battle - and it completely fails to amaze or to be exciting.

What else can I say? "Rambo III" really deserves a mention for definitively ruining a character/franchise.


  1. I definitely agree with your review. I wasn't all that impressed with the film.

    1. This was the worst of the franchise for me.