"Rambo III" is the third installment in the iconic "Rambo" film series, starring Sylvester Stallone as the battle-hardened Vietnam War veteran, John Rambo. Released on May 25, 1988, the movie was directed by Peter MacDonald.
The film sees John Rambo living a secluded life in a Buddhist monastery in Thailand. However, his peace is short-lived when his former commanding officer, Colonel Sam Trautman, seeks his help for a mission in Afghanistan.
When Trautman is captured by Soviet forces in Afghanistan, Rambo takes it upon himself to rescue him. Venturing into a war-torn Afghanistan, Rambo allies with the Mujahideen fighters to take on the Soviet army and save his friend.
Cast and Characters:
- John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone): The titular character, a former Green Beret and Vietnam War veteran, known for his combat skills and resilience.
- Colonel Sam Trautman (Richard Crenna): Rambo's mentor and friend, who gets captured during a mission in Afghanistan.
- Colonel Alexei Zaysen (Marc de Jonge): The main antagonist, a ruthless Soviet officer in charge of the region where Trautman is held captive.
Where to Stream
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Directed by Peter MacDonald, "Rambo III" was produced by Carolco Pictures with a screenplay by Sylvester Stallone and Sheldon Lettich. The rugged terrains of Israel and Arizona were used to depict the Afghan landscape.
One of the challenges faced during production was the portrayal of the Afghan-Soviet conflict, ensuring it was both action-packed and respectful of the real-world implications. The film had a significant budget, estimated to be around $63 million, making it one of the most expensive films made at the time.
Reception and Awards:
Critical reception: Critics had mixed reviews about "Rambo III." While some praised the action sequences and Stallone's performance, others felt the film lacked depth and relied too heavily on its action set pieces.
Audience reception: Fans of the series appreciated the film for its adrenaline-pumping action, making it a commercial success, grossing over $189 million worldwide.
While not garnering major film awards, "Rambo III" did receive a Razzie nomination for Stallone as Worst Actor, a testament to the film's polarizing reception.
Trivia and Fun Facts:
- At the time of its release, "Rambo III" held the Guinness World Record for the most violent film, with over 221 acts of violence and 108 deaths.
- The film's tagline, "The first was for himself. The second for his country. This time it's to save his friend," encapsulates Rambo's evolving motivations throughout the series.
- The political landscape changed significantly after the film's release, with the end of the Cold War. This led to later revisions of the film's dedication, which originally paid tribute to the "gallant people of Afghanistan."
"Rambo III" remains a significant entry in the action genre, reflecting the geopolitical tensions of its time while delivering the high-octane action the series is known for.