Rambo III — the rewatch

Trautman and Rambo hanging out in some trench.

Until recently, ”Rambo III” was the worst entry in the Rambo franchise. It’s funny how things change. I figured, why not give the movie the benefit of the doubt and rewatch it. It was probably at least 10 years since last time I saw it.

Much has been said about Rambo fighting with the mujahedin, considering how the situation in Afghanistan has changed since 1988. I won’t go down that road.

You are all probably familiar with the story. Rambo declines joining Colonel Trautman on a mission supplying Stinger-missiles to the Afghan resistance. Trautman gets captured by the evil Soviet forces, and the only way to get him out is by Rambo mounting an unofficial rescue operation.

”Rambo III” was shot in various locations, including Arizona and Israel. It was the most expensive movie ever made at the time, with a budget of $63 million. $12 millon was spent on a Gulfstream jet, as part of Sylvester Stallones salary.

The movie was to be directed by Russell Mulcahy, but he was replaced after two weeks by Peter MacDonald, due to ’creative differences’. Some of the footage Mulcahy shot is still in the final cut of the movie.

Ironically, the Soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan about four weeks prior to the premiere of the movie.

It is rumoured Marlon Brando was considering playing Russian Colonel Zaysen, and he even did some revision of his scenes in the script. Now, that would have been interesting…

So what’s the verdict?

Well, I was hoping a rewatch would change my mind about ”Rambo III”. I always thought it started kind of good, and my taste has probably evolved in some direction these last ten years.

Also, I kind of enjoyed the fourth Rambo, although it certainly was over-the-top violent. And the fifth installment was just plain awful, so ”Rambo III” couldn’t have been that bad, right?

But rewatching this thing, I found that as soon as Rambo enters Afghanistan, my attention keeps going to my phone. It’s just not interesting enough. There are no memorable scenes…which is bad.

So – no, a rewatch didn’t increase my love for this movie, sadly. But I so want to like it, because I still love Rambo as a character.

One wonders what would have happened if the sequels were more in line with the original ”First Blood”, which in my mind still is a masterpiece.




I am a movie fanatic, that love to share my thoughts about movies. 2021 I will spend a lot of time rewatching movies from the past.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

What Is The Director’s Relationship With Camera Part 2?

The Night Is Darkest Just Before the Dawn: The HMIs of the Batmobile Over the Decades, Ranked

Batmobil: Batsign on car

10 Days of Halloween Movies, Worst to Best:

NoPro’s Holiday Gift Guide (2020 Edition)

LIFF 2019 Movie Review: ‘#Gadhvi’

Brother Bear: A Tale of Politics, Journalism and Bears- Brought to you by Zoomers.

10 Best Magic-in-Movies of All Time

Ranking Every Halloween Movie From Worst to Best

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Hefas Moviestuff

Hefas Moviestuff

I am a movie fanatic, that love to share my thoughts about movies. 2021 I will spend a lot of time rewatching movies from the past.

More from Medium

Print.Inflate.Devalue.Repeat. Can Bitcoin fix that?

5 actions scientists recommend for super heroes #5

English thatched roof cottage, by Garry Knight Flickr Creative Commons

Getting Student Debt Under Control Once and For All Borrowers

Quit Being Formal; It’s Actually Still Okay To Be Social.