Rambo III (1988) (part 3 of 4)

Rambo and Mousa finally reach the village (I’m skipping over a lot of stuff here, because I’m a nice guy), and meet with the freedom fighters. Since we don’t have enough heavy-handed stuff going on, we now get a kid named Hamid getting attached to Rambo. Okay, film. Now you’re getting on my bad side.

Long story short, after some more pathos, Rambo and Mousa meet with the freedom fighters, who in spite of being talked up as unstoppable fighters who don’t know the meaning of the word surrender, and who have a few defecting Russians on their side as well as freaking Rambo, prove to be a bit on the reluctant side. Even with a moving explanatory speech by one of them (played by Greek actor Spiros Focas, who was also the bad guy in The Jewel of the Nile), it still ends up with Rambo going it alone.

Rambo III (1988) (part 3 of 4)

And the sound you just heard that reminds you of a flowing river was the entire point the filmmakers were trying to make being whizzed right down their legs. Why build up the freedom fighters this much, only to have them essentially benched until the bottom of the ninth? Sure, we get a nice speech, but we still don’t see them again until the last five minutes of the film.

You know, even though The Living Daylights was primarily a 007 thriller, it still made better use of this conflict, and even there they had enough sense to also throw in a drug/arms deal. Shit, no wonder the Rambo franchise went on a twenty year hiatus after this.

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Ed Harris

A fan of less than great cinema since childhood, Ed divides his time between writing scripts, working an actual paying job and subjecting himself willingly to some of the worst films society has produced.

Multi-Part Article: Rambo III (1988)

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