Last month, I regaled whoever read the post with a story of my attempt to rent the 'Rambo in Afghanistan' movie (Remember: III, not IV!!!!!).
Here's the scene that I dimly remembered in my rapidly deteriorating mind as having some relevance to the current day, as transcribed from a DVD that I rented from the attitude-free Suspect Video on Markham:
Col. Zaysen, the evil Soviet commander, is beginning the interrogation of Col. Trautman, Rambo's captured buddy. If Trautman gives up info on shipments of Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to the rebels, “it could provide a way out of this for us both,” he tells Trautman. “After all, what everybody really wants is peace,” he said, arching the brows over his cold eyes in an ever-so-cynical way while speaking with a bad Russian accent (boo! hiss!).
Trautman: The Kremlin's got a hellofa sense of humour.
Zaysen: Please explain.
Trautman: You talk peace and disarmament to the world, and yet here you are, wiping out a race of people!
Zaysen: We are wiping out no one! I think you are too intelligent to believe such absurd propaganda. Now again, where are the missiles?
Trautman: I don't know anything about any missiles!
Zaysen: Of course you do! But you do not seem to realize I'm providing a way out for us both.
Trautman: You expect sympathy? You started this damned war, now you'll have to deal with it!
Zaysen: Yes. We will. It is just a matter of time before we achieve a complete victory.
Trautman: There won't be a victory. Every day, your “war machines” lose ground to a bunch of poorly armed, poorly equipped freedom fighters. The fact is you underestimated your competition. If you'd studied your history, you'd know that these people have never given up to anyone. They'd rather die than be slaves to an invading army! You can't defeat a people like that. We tried. We already had our Vietnam! (Ominously) Now you're gonna have yours.
There was also this exchange (copied and pasted from IMDB.com):
Mousa: This is Afghanistan. Alexander the Great try to conquer this country, then Genghis Khan, then the British. Now Russia. But Afghan people fight hard, they never be defeated. Ancient enemy make prayer about these people … you wish to hear?
Mousa: Very good. It says, 'May God deliver us from the venom of the cobra, teeth of the tiger, and the vengeance of the Afghan.' Understand what this means?
Rambo: That you guys don't take any shit?
Mousa: Yes, something like this.
Here's a snippet of a review by the NYT's Janet Maslin, published on May 25, 1988:
''Rambo III'' is dedicated ''to the gallant people of Afghanistan,'' and it clearly intends that its politics be taken seriously. The plot sends Rambo into Afghanistan on a rescue mission after Trautman, who has been educating Afghan freedom fighters in the ways of Stinger missiles and is taken prisoner by a smirking, strutting Soviet colonel (Marc de Jonge). This casts Trautman in the unenviable role of political mouthpiece, as he lectures the colonel about Soviet foreign policy. And it makes the Afghan fighters, who are this film's noble Indians, entirely one-dimensional. ''What we must do is stop this killing of our women and children,'' one fighter earnestly explains. And the film, for all its grandstanding, never goes any deeper.
A Rambo film, filled with one-dimensional characters? My God!! :)
While there's an occasional “Inshallah” (God willing) tossed in here and there, the Afghan freedom fighters in Rambo III don't appear to be a particularly religious bunch.