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 (Mr. T), who inadvertently causes the death of Rocky's beloved trainer, Mickey (Burgess Meredith), 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 (Carl Weathers) teaches him during this film's training sequence. In the end, Balboa faces off against Lang for a second time.
30 minutes shorter than its predecessors-- according to audience reactions I still disagree with, that's the same curse that held "Superman IV" in Hollywood Purgatory (or maybe lower).
Thank heavens "Rocky III" is still an enjoyable piece of work!
For Stallone's second shot in the director's chair, he pits his famous character against Clubber Lang, a testosterone-oozing Mr. T. The trouble is, has Rocky grown complacent in light of his massive celebrity?
While it does stick to something of a formula, R3 still comes out swinging, with more humor and better drama than the first two, but doesn't reach the cheer-inspiring fever pitch of the second.
A worthwhile entry.
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