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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 18.37%
Average: 6.12%
Pretty Bad: 18.37%
Total Crap: 22.45%

1 review, 43 user ratings

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Rambo 3
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by Jack Sommersby

"The Third Time's the Charm"
5 stars

The original was crisp and dramatically valid. The follow-up was passable but overly mechanical. This third entry, though, is a wall-to-wall success: colorful, exciting, and entertaining as all get-out. A stupendously alive motion picture.

The best of the Rambo series. When Sylvester Stallone's John Rambo's previous commanding officer, Col. Trautman (played by the late Richard Crenna), is captured during an unofficial mission in Afghanistan and held prisoner by a brutal Russian commander, well-muscled ex-Vietnam vet Rambo goes behind enemy lines to attempt a rescue. After being criticized for the lack of characterization in the acceptable-but-mechanical Rambo II: First Blood, Stallone infused his character with some semblances of depth this time around; Rambo isn't exactly Shakespearean in dramatic power, yet he's become introspective and contemplative as he's aged -- he's learned to consider the consequences of his actions -- and Stallone underplays him with vivid, quiet conviction. The story itself is far from a grabber, though, with its heavy-handed metaphors and irksome inclusion of a spunky kid who tags along with Stallone slight deficiencies. But the name of the game here is action, and the production immensely benefited from the firing of original director Russell Mulcahy (Highlander) and the hiring of second-unit director Peter MacDonald, who makes a smashing debut here. In addition to his huge respect for actors (he favors wide shots of them in the same frame rather than each one in endless close-ups), he shows an incredibly refined film sense for shooting action at various interesting angles and juxtaposing them into cohesive sequences where the spatial logistics are coherently defined. (In other words, MacDonald is the opposite of a Michael Bay.) Several standout bits: a helicopter attack on freedom fighters on horseback; a cat-and-mouse battle inside a huge cave; an escape through the catacomb-like underbelly of a Soviet compound; Rambo closing a gaping wound by exploding gun powder into it; and even a neat throwaway line, like when an arms merchant asks what a strange-looking device called a blue light does, and Rambo answers, "Turns blue.".

At the time, this was the most expensive film of all time, with a budget of $63 million. It did "only" $53 million in business in the U.S.; however, unsurprisingly, it, like its predecessors, cleaned up big overseas.

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originally posted: 06/17/04 01:21:26
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User Comments

7/04/14 action movie fan rambo aides afgans agains heavily atrmed ruissians in the best of the rambo fimls 5 stars
8/15/10 bored mom If you think the second film is bad, wait 'til you see this, in all its big Cold War glory. 2 stars
9/06/06 Alex This movie is soo oldschool lol i love it 5 stars
5/25/06 JM Synth Of course you would Sugarfoot, that song RULES!!! 3 stars
1/10/06 Cody Part 2 first blood was a hard act to follow,but this movie has plenty action and good story 3 stars
11/17/05 ALDO real explosions, real fuckin horses, real fuckin stunts by sly fuckin stallone 5 stars
9/22/05 Michael Comic Book Stuff ... got to love it 4 stars
9/17/05 Durin's Bane Ridiculous, but they don't make them like this anymore. 5 stars
8/16/05 Klondo I can't wait for Rambo 4 5 stars
7/29/05 tony exellent some parts a bit slow,but still good! 5 stars
3/27/05 indrid cold Rambo vs. entire Russian division in the desert! Ludicrously OTT, but very fun. 4 stars
3/13/05 Ronin Say WHAT?! Actually it's got better review than R2????? R2 was good this one is bad. Period 2 stars
2/16/05 Sugarfoot I would rather watch the "Rock Me Amadeus!" video over and over again! 1 stars
2/06/05 Tom Benton Though still somewhat entertaining, "Rambo III" lacks the energy of the previous flicks. 2 stars
8/17/04 Herolder If you want some real action instead of CGI-bullshit, here it is. 5 stars
7/26/04 Monster W. Kung "Must see". Yeah, to marvel at how atrociously awful it is. Unbelievable bullshit. 1 stars
7/24/04 Sandy Turynowicz Must see 5 stars
6/19/04 Monster W. Kung So awful it's funny. 1 stars
6/17/04 Coked Up Werewolf Are you serious, JackSommersby? I went into a 3-year coma after watching this piece of shit 1 stars
3/09/04 Blaine Holloway Excellent! Brilliant, get past the explosions and stuff, you'll see the fine acting involve 5 stars
2/26/04 J Rambo still got it! 4 stars
11/30/03 john unintentionally funny at times 1 stars
11/29/03 Jaron Not a very believable ending, but all in all a good film!! 4 stars
9/04/03 Gray post 9/11 seeing him fight for the afaganistan freedom fighters is funny+good film 4 stars
8/14/03 Sam Moszynski Second best in the series. Lots of fun! 4 stars
8/03/03 Eric All-out action thriller is always entertaining, if not also always dumb. 4 stars
5/18/03 Andrew Carden Mediocre Action Flick Comes Off More Funny Than Scary. 3 stars
4/22/03 Dana Carvey must DIE!!! A crock of shit, that betrays the legacy of the first (and great) Rambo movie. 1 stars
3/10/03 Jack Sommersby The best of the series. An action masterpiece! 5 stars
1/21/02 Spencer Lent This one is good! What are you guys talking about? 4 stars
12/06/01 LP Quagmire One of the three best films in the RAMBO trilogy. 5 stars
7/06/01 Dean Rambo doesn't just kick ass. He obliterates it. 1 stars
5/17/01 Monster W. Kung Fantastic movie. Stallone clearly shows he's the best in this piece of dung. 1 stars
4/25/01 viking gives American patriotism a bad name. See "Private Ryan" instead !!! 1 stars
1/15/01 Sklorsh I like the part when Rambo shoots all those guys.... 2 stars
11/28/00 Cristopher Revilla don't watch this crap, watch the original 2 stars
8/23/00 zall Damn bad 1 stars
4/30/99 Rob Mckechnie I'm gonna stick my neck out here, but this movie is so cheesy , it was an absolute hoot! 4 stars
11/03/98 Silent Rob Whoa boy.....makes Cobra look good! 1 stars
11/01/98 Vick Di Brecci Utterly preposterous save ten minutes of good action involving a blue glow-thing 2 stars
11/01/98 Negative Creep SO crappy, I havent seen the whole thing yet even after all these years. 2 stars
11/01/98 Oz The well is empty, Mr Stallone. 2 stars
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  02-Feb-1988 (R)
  DVD: 23-Nov-2004


  02-Jul-1988 (M)

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