July 4, 2017

Rambo III.

Review #961: Rambo III.

Sylvester Stallone (John J. Rambo), Richard Crenna (Colonel Sam Trautman), Kurtwood Smith (Robert Griggs), Marc de Jonge (Colonel Alexei Zaysen), Sasson Gabai (Mousa Ghani), Doudi Shoua (Hamid), Spiros Focas (Masoud), Randy Raney (Sergeant Kourov), and Marcus Gilbert (Tomask) Directed by Peter MacDonald.

It has been one full year since I watched Rambo: First Blood Part II as part of my Independence Day Feature, and since the time has come once again to do something for my home country, it only makes sense to cover this film. This is the 11th film done since I began the Independence Day Feature in 2012, with the other films being: #193 - Independence Day, #413 - The Patriot, #414 - Air Force One, #415 - America, #416 - Yankee Doodle Dandy, #611 - Spider-Man, #612 - The Devil's Disciple, #724 - Sagebrush Trail, #817 - Suddenly, and #818 - Rambo: First Blood Part II. Enjoy the sixth straight year with a review on July 4th.

When I watched the second film, I described it as "moderately entertaining, but not as good as the first film", crediting its satisfying action in a movie that was okay with being average but fair entertainment. But this one felt like middling returns, where the action scenes outweigh the heart of the film and make for something that isn't as satisfying in entertainment. There isn't anything that is inherently awful, but there is also isn't anything that is great. Nothing is really improved on from the last two films, essentially. Stallone is what you've seen before previously (which is fine), though one the best highlights involving him is one where he removes a spike from his side and seals the wound with flaming gunpowder. Crenna does a fine job once again, while having a bit more screen-time this time around, and he gets to be part of the action, which is nice. It's always nice to see Smith, but he doesn't really have much to do in his small time on screen (never trust the billing, I suppose). de Jonge seems more in line with a cartoon-ish villain than anything really menacing, not even a silly over-the-top moment or a memorable henchman. The rest of the cast is decent, but they can't help elevate the movie toward anything worth competency. There definitely is a good deal of action (listed by the Guinness World Records book to have 221 acts of violence, at least 70 explosions and over 108 on-screen deaths), but it seems a bit hollow and not as electrifying as the previous films for me. The movie (filmed in Israel, Thailand, and Arizona) does have a neat look to it, at least. It's easy to say this isn't a good movie, but it's hard to recommend against watching it, particularly if you are an action buff. It has quite a good amount of imperfections, but perhaps there is some sort of gem within all of this film's mess.

Happy Independence Day, folks. I hope you've enjoyed this review.

Overall, I give it 6 out of 10 stars.

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