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Sylvester Stallone returns to the character which made him famous in this wildly successful sequel. Rocky III starts with the Italian Stallion so famous that his likeness is everywhere, including pinball machines. Fame and complacency soon cause Balboa to lose his title to young thug Clubber Lang, who inadvertently causes the death of Rocky's beloved trainer, Mickey, before their first championship bout. After sinking into a depression, Balboa must regain the love and support of his family, as well as the elusive "eye of the tiger," the hungry need to beat the opponent which former foe Apollo Creed teaches him during this film's training sequence. In the end, Balboa faces off against Lang for a second time.
Sylvester Stallone was able to give us a Rocky movie that was almost as good as the first with Rocky II. Now because that movie did so well in the box office, how could he say no to yet another Rocky? Before even putting the DVD in the DVD player I was afraid that this movie was going to be garbage. Ever since I was a kid I could never figure out why the third part of each franchise is terrible. Just look at this list: Jaws 3, Superman 3, Lethal Weapon 3, Godfather 3, and Halloween 3. I could go on, but that's not the point of this review. Now this doesn't affect all movies, there are some that are actually great, and after finishing Rocky III, I am pleased to say that it does not fit into the abysmal list.
Review by Nirrad
Added: June 11, 2008
Like with all Rocky films, this one starts off with the conclusion to part 2. Rocky finally defeats Apollo Creed and gains the Heavyweight Championship belt. What else is there to do? Defend the title and make money of course. After the events of part 2, we are shown a quick montage of Rocky defending his title against numerous opponents, and this eventually leads him to become a millionaire with a nice home. As Rocky's popularity explodes, Paulie (Burt Young) starts to become jealous, everywhere he goes there is something with Rocky's name on it. Although minutes into the movie, Rocky gives Paulie a job and the jealousy scenario is no longer existent. With nothing more to prove, Rocky decides that he is going to retire. While giving a public speech about his retirement, he is confronted by hothead boxer Clubber Lang (Mr. T) who begins to heckle Rocky saying that he is a coward for not accepting his challenge. After words are exchanged, Rocky agrees to a match. While Clubber begins to train hard for his fight, Rocky decides to make a show out of his training. He allows fans to come watch him train, and get to have their picture taken with him. Of course this upsets Mickey as he believes Rocky is not getting the right training that he needs. Unfortunately for Mickey (Burgess Meredith), all of this commotion begins to take its toll on his heart.
Right before the big fight, Mickey seems to be having a slight heart attack. Rocky wants to call it off, but Mickey disagrees and tells him to fight anyways. At the beginning of the fight, Rocky comes out swinging and starts to pound Clubber, but Rocky can't get Mickey out of his mind and loses focus on the fight. He then starts to get demolished by Clubber Lang, and eventually knocked out within a few rounds. After the fight, Rocky returns to his dressing room only to find Mickey gasping for air. Minutes later Mickey kicks the bucket, and Rocky loses his old mentor. So who is going to help Rocky train to regain the title? Rocky's old friend Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) steps up to the plate to help Rocky train for the rematch. Apollo believes that Rocky has lost his touch, and that he lacks that certain sparkle he once had .The eye of the tiger. Apollo takes Rocky to the slums of L.A where he once trained in the early days. He helps Rocky gain speed, more power, rhythm and of course the eye of the tiger. After months of training Rocky returns to have a rematch with Clubber Lang, and this time it's going to be a real fight!
I like to compare this movie to Friday The 13th: Part 3 and I'll tell you why. What is one thing that you think of when you think of Jason? - The hockey mask. That is Jason's trademark, everybody knows about the mask even if they haven't seen any of the movies. Rocky III introduced us to the song "Eye of the Tiger", which is widely recognized as the Rocky theme song. While "Gonna Fly Now" is technically the official song, I believe that "Eye of the Tiger" is much more popular. Before I watched any of the Rocky films, I knew what that song was and thought it was his main theme song.
Now, this movie is quite different from the first two, the pace of the movie is much faster. There isn't much downtime in the movie, its basically montage, fight, training montage and then the final fight. But if you were big fans of the first one, you will be let down by this one. This is the first Rocky to be nominated for a Razzie, and that's due to Mr. T. I personally don't like the character of Clubber Lang, I find him really annoying and nothing really interesting about him. Although this movie was the first time we heard the infamous quote "I pity the fool" so I'm sure there are some people who disagree with me about Mr. T. As always, the fight is enjoyable and keeps you on the edge of the seat. I actually enjoy this fight more than the fight in part 2. Rocky just gets pounded round after round in part 2 then makes a dramatic comeback, while this fight is pretty even until the last few rounds.
Having Apollo help Rocky was a nice touch and only seemed right considering he's retired. I have heard from a lot of people that Rocky III contains the best training montage out of all the films. I personally don't agree, but it's hard not to enjoy watching Apollo train Rocky.
So in the end we have another enjoyable addition to the Rocky franchise. Originally, I didn't like this addition, but after a second viewing it is much more enjoyable. It may not be one of the best, but still a good movie overall.
- added June 12, 2008 at 11:30am
Not as great as the first two films, and not as
solid as "Rocky Balboa", but leaps and
bounds better than the ridiculous "Rocky
IV" and the cringe inducing dullness of
"Rocky V". There's something about Mr.
T that can just sell a film. 7/10.
- added June 13, 2008 at 1:36pm
The penultimate Rocky movie. The third entry to me
is my favorite. 9/10
- added June 13, 2008 at 4:10pm
I haven't seen IV or V yet (I know, I know), so
for me, this is by far the lowest point of the
series thus far. That final fight was pathetic -
you build up Mr. T as being this big badass, you
have him KO Rocky in the second round during the
first fight, and then the final fight is over in
three minutes? The fight with Hogan was more
thrilling than that garbage. 6/10.
- added November 5, 2009 at 9:32pm
very very good movie just to long