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Review: Rambo III

July 30, 2012

Rambo III is from a very different point in American history. The 80s, apart from the abundance of cocaine and hookers on Wall Street, was a time when most of America was sure that the Soviet Union would start World War III rather than admit to losing the Cold War. And the Soviet-Afghan war was a part of that – the Soviet Union went to fight resistance to the Afghan Soviet government while the US was supporting the Mujahideen rebels with weapons and financial aid.

Rambo III begins with Col. Trautman searching for John Rambo in Thailand, eventually finding him in a stick fighting contest in an abandoned warehouse. However, he leaves before they can talk, and they catch up to him again at a Buddhist monastery. Trautman explains that he needs John Rambo again, this time to supply weapons to Mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan. Rambo refuses, and Trautman goes on the mission himself, promptly getting captured after being attacked by a Hind.

There’s not much in the way of plot development after Rambo gets to Afghanistan; it’s really just Stallone shooting communists and trying to track down Col. Trautman, and my God, is it glorious. It is one of the great expressions of anti-communist sentiment in American cinema. It is completely ridiculous, but it’s also kind of awesome (see: Rambo blowing up a Soviet helicopter with a tank by driving into it). Yeah, it can be kind of dumb, but it’s enjoyably so, even with some…unfortunate connections to the modern world. If you like action flicks, it’ll probably be right up your alley; if not, then you can probably safely skip it.

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