The third installment in the Rocky saga is the last one to matter, and in this case only marginally. The now rich and famous Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) triumphantly pummels a succession of boxing challengers until he encou... more »nters Clubber Lang (Mr. T), a human wall of brick who wants a piece of Rocky's action. The Rock's loyal trainer Mickey (Burgess Meredith) has taken ill and dies, so Rocky recruits retired opponent Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) to whip him into fighting shape after his embarrassing defeat to Clubber. Time for another rematch, mixed in with some family matters involving Rocky's brother-in-law Paulie (Burt Young), who's feeling neglected amid all the hoopla. Not bad as sequels go, boosted by Mr. T.'s taunting presence and yet another rousing finale. For those with a bad case of '80s nostalgia, the hit theme song "Eye of the Tiger" is sure to bring back memories. --Jeff Shannon« less
"Recall what it was that appealed to you about "Rocky", the original motion picture. If you are like me, it was the down and out tough guy Rocky, with a heart of pure gold, who finds true love with Adrian, and who gets a one in a million chance and makes the most of it. It is the courage and heart of Rocky that make you want to stand up and cheer for the guy. We love him because we see so much of him in all of us. Unfortunately, the side of Rocky we love so much is gone in Rocky III.
In Rocky III, Rocky loses himself to fame and glory. The guy with the heart of gold who cracks corny jokes is replaced by a successful well-dressed, well-housed, cultured man, who has transformed himself into a man-of-the-world through his successes. He is no longer the man we fell in love with in the original. He has changed. (I suspect this story is a treatise of the personal life of Sylvester Stallone, as his is a rags to riches overnight success story as well).
The theme of the movie is that success spoils (and changes) a person, as it takes away the inner drive to push forward and strive to be the best. In Rocky's case, he loses his title (to the fearsome Clubber Lang, whose personality and style resemble Mike Tyson) and manager (Mickey - heart attack) in one felled swoop, and is lost in a sea of fear and indecision. Coming to the rescue is none other than Apollo Creed, the man Rocky took the title from originally. Creed takes over for the deceased Mickey Goldmill, and tries to transform Rocky from a crude slugger to a svelt polished boxer. He meets with limited success, as the real problem is that for the first time in his life, Rocky is afraid to face his opponent. A confrontation on the beach between wife Adrian and Rocky is the turning point of the film. It is very well done by the way. Talia Shire (Adrian) is often overlooked as just being Rocky's wife, but her scenes in all the films are some of the best scenes of all, and give the films the heart and soul that make the series so enjoyable. As the moral compass of his life, Adrian gets to the heart of the matter and sets her man back on the right path. This sets the stage for the rematch, where we already know what the outcome is going to be.
Rocky overcomes his fear, uses his new polished boxing skills gleaned from Apollo Creed, and trounces the feared Clubber. For me, it is too formulaic to work. The fight scenes with Clubber are pure baloney (my gosh, does either fighter know that it is legal to block a punch?). The fight is meant to demonstrate that Rocky has overcome his fear of Clubber, but the "boxing" is so contrived, it is hard to take seriously.
Hulk Hogan plays a minor role that lends some comic diversion to the story. Hogan is impressive and realistic in playing his wrestling personna.
Mr. T plays the fearsome Clubber Lang. Lang is very much like the real-life Mike Tyson we have come to despise. Stallone developed the character of Clubber Lang 3 years before Tyson came on the boxing scene, so Tyson cannot be the inspiration for the personality of Clubber. In any event, Clubber is an animal (he has the "eye of the tiger") who trains himself in primitive surroundings and will stop at nothing to become the champion. Mr. T is to be congratulated for his over-the-top performance.
The scene where trainer Mickey dies is a tear-jerking one, and it is well-done. Where Adrian is Rocky's moral compass, Mick is Rocky's professional compass, enabling and inspiring Rocky to be more than he can be. Mick gives Rocky confidence and success because Rocky knows Mick believes in him (and he respects Mick). Burgess Meredith was the quintessential boxing trainer, all full of spit, grit, and vinegar. I will miss him.
While the film deals with a crisis of courage and heart in Rocky, (a serious theme indeed), it somewhat lacks the inspiring emotional punch that was so evident in the original film. It tries to recapture this in the training sequences with Apollo, but falls a bit short (can we seriously believe that Rocky can outrun Apollo Creed? Again, too contrived for my liking). But what the heck, this is the second sequel, so how much can we ask of a sequel?
The film is certainly entertaining, but it is not the picture of the year that "Rocky" was in 1976.
Jim "Konedog" Koenig "
"There is no tomorrow!!"
Electrifier | FL | 09/27/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As most already know, Rocky 3 is a look at what happens to most boxers that gain the popularity and wealth that they strive for and consequently become "weak". Rocky is no exception. He soon learns that he was protected by his trainer/mentor/manager Mick by having Roc take on fighters of a lesser caliber.
And what better "villain" is there to show Roc how soft he has become than the vicious Clubber Lang (Mr.T). The movie really shines when an enraged Clubber gets the spotlight and tells everybody like it is, and it is done with such conviction that you almost believe Clubber to be truly unstoppable. Clubber goads Rocky into taking one last fight to prove he's not a coward and puppet, which proves to be a big mistake for the champion. Soon after, a bruised and depressed Rocky meets face-to-face with the ex-champ Apollo Creed. Roc reluctantly allows Apollo to take him under his wing so he can reinvent himself and regain his champion status. A very eager Apollo, timid Rocky, racist Paulie, and motivational speaker extrodinaire, Adrian, then travel West to a very seedy side of L.A. which will bring back that raw, desperate atmosphere Roc needs to get back "The eye of the tiger". The acting is top-notch for Carl Weathers as he constantly loses his cool during training with the moronic Balboa (keep an eye out for their latent homoerotic beach scene where they splash and hug each other in the ocean at the training's most inspiring moment - certainly a Kodak moment).
The rematch is boxing cinema at it's most hyperbolic. It is obvious that Stallone underwent some very intense training to get his body slimmed down to a spry 191lbs. from his previous 202lbs. The fight choreography is at times unbelievable, for what human being could possibly withstand the pummeling that these two take? To add to the comic-book like violence we get overdone sound effects which mostly sounds like a wooden chair being busted over a concrete wall, although, judging by how solid these two look, it might be like hitting a wall.
There are no bonus features that are worth mentioning; all we get is the original movie trailer. With Rocky 6 due out December 22nd, I would be on the lookout for the 2-disc Special Edition's."
Excellent Movie. Turning point for the franchise.
Daniel Evans Jr. | Nashville, TN United States | 01/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The above 'plot synopsis' is incorrect.
"Plot Synopsis: Having defeated boxer Apollo Creed twice, Rocky now finds himself . . ."
Rocky didn't beat Creed twice. He only beat him once.
Nitpicking aside, Rocky III is a very good movie, as long as you know what to expect. This is when the Rocky franchise went from well-acted drama to vapid action movie. As long as you knew the difference before you see the movies, you won't be disappointed.
Rocky III is FULL of quotables, most of them from the perfectly casted Mr. T as Clubber Lang. As far as movies in the franchise go, this is the second in the list of must ownership, right after the original Rocky."
Rocky is an AMERICAN TRADITION !
B. Hadjibashi | Livermore, CA | 09/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Back then when we were kids and watched this movie over and over again all I can remember is the great fighting scenes along with great soundtrack. I just watched this movie tonight again on DVD for the first time for good old times sake. I gotta tell you I really enjoyed it. Today I am 31 and when I am watching a movie I always try to get a good message out of it for me. Ofcourse that does not work always. And before watching Rocky III tonight I did not expect anything more than just a good old Sly movie. However I realized by the middle of the movie that Stallone is in fact a real Artist (in case you dont know he is also the director of the movie). A man's world can collapse if he does NOT believe in himself. And that is a fact. Most men experience that probably more than once through their lives. The fear of failing stops most men of what they have to do in order to achieve what they want. One of Stallone's messages with Rocky III is that each person in case of fear should always consider the worst scenario that can happen in case one fails the challenge. Once you think of the worst then as an human being we always think in the back of the head the of a solution to that. After picturing that a man does not have any fear to face any challenge. On the other hand this movie does to its audience what it is supposed to do. Whenever I watch this movie I am completely motivated. Ready for any challenge. It really pumps you up for the tough world out there. Honestly, after so many years it still works for me very well. The only reason why I cannot give this movie a 5 star review is that the DVD does not have any special features. It is obvious that they did not have any "The making of" special feature back then. However a recent interview with Stallone today would have been awesome on this DVD. At least I was hoping to watch the "Eye of the tiger" music video which was ofcourse NOT available on the DVD either. The picture quality is not that great. But you will get the widescreen and the full screen version if you flip the disc. Other than that if you can buy this DVD for a low price (as long as they do not do a digital transfer, gosh even old Hitchcock's movies have better picture quality but why not Rocky III?)it is a great recommendation. Specially if you are a fan of Mr.T. as big bad Cluber Lang (No more Mr. Nice guy, so dont expect a friendly Mr. T like his character from "The A-Team") By the way the paintings of Rocky in the movie and in the end credits were created by Stallone himself. I bet you did not know that. "
A Fight That Proves Comebacks Come True!
B. Hadjibashi | 11/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After winning the title from Creed, we see Rocky defend his belt ten victorious times. He decides to hang up the gloves after the tenth title defense, but a challenge from the number one contender, Clubber Lang (played suprisingly well by Mr. T), wills Rocky to defend his title one more time. However, he became civilized, he let publicity go to his head, and he didn't train with the heart we see in the first two films. He loses to Lang in the bout, and then loses his great manager Mickey to a heart attack. Now, Rocky is down on his luck, and he feels that he doesn't want the boxing life anymore. However, Apollo Creed,(played EXCELLENTLY by Carl Weathers)shows up in Rocky's life, and talks him into challenging a rematch with Lang. Creed becomes his trainer, and personally, my favorite scene is the race on the shore of California. With Apollo's help, Rocky was able to get back "The Eye of the Tiger" to re-win his championship. Though the climactic final fight is only three rounds, it is filled with action-packed punches that could fill fifteen. A great film, and a must-see!"