Rambo III: Afghans vs Soviets – the American point of view

maxresdefaultWatching a film about war (doesn’t matter which – World war, Civil war, Vietnam war…) it is really difficult to stay emotionless and aside from it. Whether you want it or not, you pick sides, and often you are with those who made the film, because in most cases they show themselves as good guys. However, it can be risky. Why? You can get, and actually believe in one sided story about real event. Let’s face it, (because it’s no secret) different countries interprets diferrently specific historical facts, especially if there are involved sides, with whom they are not in good terms.

I started describing specific situation I faced while watching (well, actually re-watching ) Rambo III. I got dual feelings about this storyline ( I’m not saying it is bad or something), but it was probably because I’m evaluating the story from todays perspective and back then in 1988 my evaluation would probably be other. So, we have here war in Afghanistan between Afghans and Soviets. We all know the story, no need going into detail what happened there.

What we are shown in the movie is that CIA is about to supply anti – Soviet fighters in Afghanistan (Afghans). So, right here, we actually face the truth – Americans did supply Afghans to fight Soviet. It should also be mentioned that Americans supplied Afghans with really modern and powerful weapons (like, Stinger). But for me the most interesting part was how these actions were explained: Americans were helping Afghans to fight Soviets, because it was thought that Soviets had a chemical weapon. It’s funny on theone  hand, that the ones who once helped fight the enemy, one day became an enemy. This is one of the reasons I got dual feelings about the movie. Of course, I can’t judge the creators, because movie came out way earlier then Americans started fighting the Afghans.

Another interesting obstacle was really bad relations between America and USSR at the time the film came out (you know, the Cold war era). All these efforts to show Soviets as badly as possible… When you look at this now, it seems so ridiculous. Like, in Rambo III: there was made a point on how many men Afghans lost because of the Soviets. It’s true, they did. No one’s denying it. But let’s be honest, Soviets also lost a lot of their men back there, men from all the 15 Soviet members (and in a way with the help of Americans). The enormous amount of young men got back home in zincified coffins. Those young guys who had to join the Soviet army in the Afghan war years, all of them could have been sent to Afghanistan. Parents used to do everything: bribe, give huge money so their sons wouldn’t have to join the army, or if they had to join it anyway, they at least would stay away from Afghanistan. For people that war was a pure hell, because most of the soldiers didn’t get back, or if they did, they did it in zincified coffins, as I already mentioned, or completely disabled. So, I don’t think that point made in the movie is one hundred percent correct, though I realise why it was made so. And this is my reason number two why I had dual feelings.

Third reason. I’ll be short on this. The very last fight shown in the movie. Really??? I’m sorry, but when I Rambo_III_-_screenshotwatched it I had only one word for it – Bullshit. 2 against lots? I understand that Rambo is probably more than a superhero, but there should be some adequate borders. This scene is just to far away from any kind of reality.

That’s it. Done with the things that I felt strange about. Now, I’d like to say some things I liked. First of all, there were these cool lines, like:

Mousa: God must love crazy people.

Rambo: Why?

Mousa: He make so many of them!

(this is actually true. Try observe life and people and you’ll see).


Rambo: Somewhere in a war there’s supposed to be honor. Where’s the honor here? Where?

(Again, true. if there weas honour, there wouldn’t be war in the first place).

By the ending credits of the film I was surprised too. With the ending song: Bill Medley’s version of „He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother“. You see, for a very long time I only heard this song performed by Swiss rockband Gotthard, and I thought this song was theirs, however I found out that they only covered (but did it really great), yet I‘ve never heard someone else singing it, but how surprised was I to hear the familiar lyrics, used in this film.


2 thoughts on “Rambo III: Afghans vs Soviets – the American point of view

  1. Rambo 3 is certainly the weakest in the lot of the movies; mostly because of over the top cheesiness taking away from the more gritty subject matter you’ve mentioned here.
    But it’s an interesting thing to point out that the fictional character is thrust into real life situations and looking back on them when we’ve gained a much better (more level headed) perspective.

    • Agree that third part of Rambo is weak, especially if we compare it with the first part. And as I’ve mentioned in my post about „First blood“ it’s sad that Rambo character was shown in this kind of flat way, because the character itself and then the movies could have been developed so much better and stronger (because there was a potential for that: the whole idea and primal storyline were good) and it could have worked for a really deep and interesting story. However, movie business is mass oriented business – they create what sells goods.

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