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Rocky III

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Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) broke this movie's record for the biggest box office opening weekend ever for any film that opened in fewer than a thousand theaters.



More Trivia from Rocky III
Rocky III picks up just where Rocky II left off, with Rocky victorious in his rematch fight with Apollo Creed.

A few years (and ten title defences later) Rocky seems to be going from strength to strength, advertising cars, watches, clothes and even appearing on The Muppet Show! Having become rich, Rocky has moved into a mansion and seems to have everything he has always wished for. Adrian (the beautiful Talia Shire) and their young child, Rocky Jr. complete what appears to be a perfect picture.

In the meantime, we have seen Paulie (played excellently once again by Burt Young) staggering out of his local bar, and drunkenly entering an amusement arcade which features a ROCKY pinball machine. Frustration and anger over Rocky's apparent success boils to the surface and Paulie vents these feelings by throwing his liquor bottle at the machine, smashing the display.

Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) bailed Paulie out of jail. Paulie seems ungrateful and Rocky has to explain to Paulie that friends are there because they want to be, not because they owe you something. Paulie explodes once again and, after trying (unsuccessfully) to punch Rocky in the face, asks Rocky for a job!! Rocky replies incredulously that all Paulie had to do was ask!

Rocky agrees to a charity event against 'Thunderlips', a dinosaur-sized wrestler (Hulk Hogan) and during the event we catch a glimpse of Clubber Lang (Mr T) who is (unbeknownst to Rocky) the number one heavyweight challenger. While Rocky is taking punishment in the ring, we learn that Mickey (the brilliant Burgess Meredith) has a weak heart as he becomes short of breath.

In Philidelphia the next day, Rocky and family attend a ceremony held by the mayor and the citizens of the city to unveil a large bronze statue in Rocky's honour. Rocky decides that now would be a good time to tell the people that maybe it is time for him to step down and retire, but this plan goes awry when Clubber Lang appears in the crowd and insults Rocky and his achievements.

Our hero agrees to fight the challenger, much to the pleasure of the people and a date is set for the fight. However, Mickey tells Rocky that he wants nothing to do with this last fight, explaining that Rocky has no chance of winning a fight with the challenger.

This just seems to make Rocky more determined to beat Clubber, and begs Mickey to train him one last time. Mickey finally agrees, saying "It's your head, kid!"

We next see Rocky training in a gym, but it is open to the public and everyone comes to see the boxer and Mickey is very unhappy, exclaiming that they can't train properly there in a "house of ill repute" to which Rocky replies "Relax Mick. If we're gonna go out, might as well go out in in style!"

The night of the fight arrives and Rocky and Mickey are very confident, saying this is definitely their last fight. Clubber attacks the TV cameras in frustration and anger.

The two boxers and their respective entourage meet unexpectedly on their way to the ring and Mickey is pushed violently to the floor, where he suffers a heart attack.

Back in the dressing room, Rocky is distraught and unsure what to do, until Mickey shakes him to his senses, telling Rocky to go out there and get it over with. As soon as Rocky leaves the dressing room, however, Mickey collapses onto a table.

The fight gets underway and Rocky seems hell-bent on punishing the challenger and starts out well, but he is not focused on the fight and is knocked out in the second round by the brutal Clubber.
Rocky staggers back to the dressing room and tells Mickey that it was a knockout in the second round, but Mickey assumes that it was Rocky who won, and Mickey dies after telling Rocky that he loves him.
Rocky is overcome with grief, and blames himself for Mickey's death.

A little later, Rocky is in Mickey's old gym late at night, and is startled when a figure from his past appears in the doorway...

Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) talks to Rocky and tells him he knows how he feels, but also tells him that he needs to regain that killer instinct, the 'eye of the tiger' and persuades Rocky to fight Clubber again, but under Apollo's tuition.

Their bags packed, Rocky, Adrian, Paulie and Apollo return to where Apollo first started training; the slums of LA. Here, they meet up with Duke (Tony Burton), Apollo's trainer, and Rocky starts his training.

The gym is delapidated and filthy, their accomodation is even worse, and Rocky is still greiving and blaming himself. His mind is just not on training, and whilst standing on the beach, Adrian and Rocky have a heart-to-heart and Rocky admits to her that he is afraid of Clubber. Adrian replies that everyone has faith in him and that being afraid is part of being human.

Rocky and Apollo start their training again, but this time it's a different Rocky we see. Faster, quicker and more agile, Rocky is now ready to face his biggest challenge yet: to win back his title and most of all, restore his faith in himself.

Verdict?

Being a huge Rocky fan, there are very few bad things I can say about this second sequel. OK, the plot may seem a bit thin in places but overall it moves along at a fair pace, mixing humour and tragedy with good sturdy dialogue and some great fighting/training sequences.

I do think, however, we should have seen more of Clubber Lang's background and maybe more of the relationship between Mickey, Rocky and Adrian. There are a few editing errors and the timeline between the last film and this one seems a little unclear.

A sure-fire tear-jerking moment (and great acting from both Stallone and Meredith) has to be when Mickey dies. For me, this is a classic film which no Eighties fan should be without.

Notice any mistakes? Review

Strengths: The bone crunching fight sequences. You can almost smell the blood and sweat!
The soundtrack is also worth a mention:rousing rock songs with a great score make it a winner!

Weaknesses? There are a few editing errors that the eagle-eyed may pick out.
New characters could have more background development.

Our rating: 9 out of 10


Review Written by Antony Bennett:  Contact  |  More Reviews by Antony Bennett
Rocky III