Sylvester Stallone Fooled the Whole World, Shot $189M Movie About Saving Afghanistan in Arizona: “There were so many restrictions”

While Sylvester Stallone’s cult classic Rocky films feature some of his best work and that of Hollywood, the actor’s depiction of the tragic, ruddy hero in the Rambo film series is no short of a spectacle either.

Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone

Hailed to be one of the most epic action heroes of all time, Stallone amassed incredible critical acclamation for his gripping performance as the Special Forces veteran, at least up until the first two films; things started to spiral downward toward disaster after Rambo III, a film that failed to meet the mark as its predecessors did. But the road to the finish line concerning the third movie wasn’t free of plights, especially when it came to perhaps the most imperative part – filming.

Rambo III – Sylvester Stallone Didn’t Film It in Afghanistan

Directed by Peter MacDonald, the third installment in the action-packed Rambo franchise saw Sylvester Stallone reprise his role as the iconic character created by David Morell, John Rambo. A sequel to 1985’s Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo III was based on the fictionalized events that were carried out during the Soviet-Afghan War.

The film sees Stallone’s traumatized but highly-skilled military hero, Rambo, embark on a deadly mission to a Soviet prison camp in Afghanistan to save Colonel Samuel Trautman (Marc de Jonge), his former commander held hostage by the Soviet Army. At the same time, the Vietnam War veteran is also occupied with helping the Mujahideen fighters of Afghanistan as they try to mutiny against their adversaries.

Rambo III

Richard Crenna and Sylvester Stallone in Rambo III (1988)

Surprisingly enough, the movie wasn’t shot in Afghanistan, it was mainly filmed in different locations in Israel and Thailand. But the directors and producers encountered tons of predicaments with shooting the film in the former country. That is why Stallone, who acted as a co-producer and co-writer on the project, along with his colleagues, decided to go back to Arizona for filming.

“There were so many restrictions in Israel, where you could and couldn’t shoot,” MacDonald remarked. “The producers and Stallone decided they would go back to Arizona where they had looked long before I was on the film.”

Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo III Was Met With Poor Reception

When the first Rambo film made its way to the theatres, it bewitched the audience and transpired as an instant favorite, launching into commercial success after grossing $156 million against a budget of only $15 million. Not only that, but First Blood ended up becoming the 7th highest-grossing movie worldwide at the time.

Then came Rambo: First Blood Part II, which made an even bigger splash at the box office, amassing a hefty sum of $300 million, albeit its critical reception was slightly less alluring than it was for the first part. The third movie, however, was seen as the weakest of the original trilogy, failing to establish a name in the good graces of either fans or critics.

Sylvester Stallone

First Blood (1982)

With the novelty of the film series slowly wearing off, the fourth and fifth movies weren’t able to fare well either. 2008’s Rambo flopped at the box office but Stallone and his entrancing action sequences somehow managed to earn relatively decent reviews from critics. But while the fourth installment survived, propped up on mixed reviews, Rambo: Last Blood was absolutely demolished by the world. And thus came the tragic end of a franchise starring a tragic hero.

Rambo III is on Amazon Prime Video for streaming.

Source: Wikipedia

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