Rambo III (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

We are going to be getting a fifth and final film covering the life and times of one John Rambo, as portrayed by Sylvester Stallone. Lionsgate is taking the original three film and giving them the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray update before that happens next year. No word as of yet on the fourth film from 10 years ago, but one can assume they won’t leave that one hanging dry for long. Now that Rambo has been laid out, how about our old pal Jigsaw get his series ported over to 4K? Sorry, I’ll stay on point. This review will be covering the third film, a film that was easily the weakest of the original run and almost self-parody. BUT, still pretty darn entertaining as just some junky 1980s action picture. You can pre-order it by using the Amazon link following the review.


Col. Sam Trautman travels to Thailand, hoping to convince veteran John Rambo to accompany him on a training mission in Afghanistan. When Rambo refuses, Trautman decides to go alone — but, while trying to help the mujahideen, Trautman is captured by a ruthless Russian colonel who submits him to torture. Hearing the news, Rambo volunteers for a top secret undercover mission to rescue his longtime friend.

Despite its shortcomings, and being the weakest film in the Rambo franchise, this third entry is still wildly entertaining and makes a noble attempt (Technically speaking) to try and outdo its predecessor. Sometimes successful, sometimes not, the movie is always caring and trying and that can do wonders when it comes to a subpar film. And I don’t really think this film is that subpar.

Its crazy, but Rambo III might be the most iconic one considering our hero for better and for worse. There are images, events and moments in the film that are legendary and what people think of when they think of Rambo. And of course a lot was subject to parody. The fight scene at the opening, Some of the way they shoot the battles, the sheer absurdity of battle and some of the Rambo-isms come from this movie. A crazy as that may be, its all true here.

In terms of action, this thing becomes a massive stunt show. There is A LOT of money put in to this film and every penny spent is seen on the screen. You may find it ridiculous and unrealistic (Seriously though, do you like fun ever?), but you still have to give credit at what your eyes are seeing. One thing your eyes aren’t lying to you about is that Rambo enlists the aid of a group that would eventually become the Taliban (Also dedicates the film to them in the closing moments). Just like James Bond’s The Living Daylights, this aspect of the film did not age well at all.

You know, I know its much leser a film, but I found myself still like Rambo III in the end. I maybe be laughing more at it than with it, but I’m having fun. The action is surely still there is the story and characters aren’t. And its seriously what really makes this whole movie tick. I mean…a tank plays chicken with a helicopter in this movie and they run into one another head first. That’s the kinda crazy shit you’re dealing with in this one. Sign me up every time.


Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Well, its great to say if you were a fan of the First Blood Part II transfer, then you’ll be even moreso down with Rambo III. It carries a very similar look and is loaded with great detail and a crisp, clean look to it. The film is almost too good to look at at times with how crisp and clear it is. But nonetheless, this is an impressive looking film

Depth:  Depth is pretty impressive here with a very great sense of push back and 3-D nature to the image in  some shots. Movements are really smooth, natural and cinematic.

Black Levels: Blacks are a real start in this new transfer with fantastic saturation and natural appeal. They are truly deep and dark and are able to still provide a great amount of information and detail in the picture. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are very natural in this film and cut and dry due to the desert. There isn’t a whole lot for this film in terms of pop, but explosions and lights shining do represent for it. There’s a part in a tunnel where Rambo uses a sort of glow stick to light the way and the filtering with the sting of the light look absolutely groovy.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are warmer and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facials features like sweat, dirt, pores, wrinkle, stubble and so much more can be made out easily from any given distance

Noise/Artifacts: Clean


Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English

Dynamics: It’d be nice if Rambo III boasted a new Atmos track, but it doesn’t. Instead we get a rather awesome 5.1 mix. It’s loud and pretty intricately woven through all the channels, utilizing travel while also knowing the room with some unique sounds placed to help bring it to life. Effects are plenty layers and feature good layering, making it all the more impressive.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Explosions, gunfire, tanks, helicopters and more really rumble your subwoofer to a great degree.

Surround Sound Presentation: This mix is pretty well thought out as unique things will happen time to time in the rear channels. Its not drowning it, as its a pretty front loaded track. But when the action is a-going, you’re going to be very satisfied.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp, audible at any given time no matter how big the boom goes.


Rambo III 4K Ultra-HD comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and a digital copy of the film. Aside from the commentary, all bonus materials are found on the standard Blu-ray disc.


Audio Commentary

  • By Peter MacDonald


Rambo Takes the ’80s Part 3 (HD, 10:47) – Various British talking heads discuss the sheer amount of action that Rambo upped the ante with for the genre.

Full Circle (SD, 5:58)

A Hero’s Journey (SD, 25:29)

Rambo’s Survival Hardware (SD, 8:41)

Alternative Beginning (SD, 3:37)

Deleted Scenes (SD, 7:20)

Interview with Sylvester Stallone (HD, 8:41)

Afghanistan: A Land in Crisis (SD, 29:48)

Guts and Glory (SD, 27:11)

Behind the Scenes (SD, 6:08)

The Restauration (HD, 1:21)

Trautman & Rambo (SD, 2:38)

How to Become Rambo Part 3 (SD, 15:12)

Original Trailer (SD, 2:07)

Original TV Spots (SD, 3:18)


It says something when your series’ weak point is still wildly entertaining, but here we are with Rambo III. It makes its 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray debut in impressive fashion with a fantastic new transfer and terrific audio track. The film retains its bonus features and ads a little new one for good measure. I mean, with this price and how awesome the video transfer is, its a no-brainer to add this one and upgrade it in your collections as soon as you can.  Just click below and get it over with!


Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

1 Response to “Rambo III (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Kiara

    I’m sorry but ” audible at any given time no matter how big the boom goes” was funny to read for some reason.