After Rocky II concludes the first movie’s storyline, Sylvester Stallone constructed a script based on his fame and fortune by adding a cautionary tale involving the dangers of selling out, which results a dangerous force that’ll immediately destroy your confidence. What I’m referring to is the high concept/what if scenario from “Rocky III.”
Rocky III was released in 1982. (same year the first Rambo film, First Blood came out) It earned good reviews from critics & movie goers alike. Plus, it made enough cash at the box office.
With the anticipated release of Creed II coming out during Thanksgiving week, I’m looking back at each film related to the Rocky films alongside Creed to gear up for the eighth installment of the Rocky series.
The following review doesn’t contain any SPOILERS. Feel free to read this non-spoiler article.
Victory & Defeat Aspects
Victory: Sylvester Stallone reprises his role as The Italian Stallion. He did an outstanding job for his performance, except for a crying scene. In addition to headlining the series, he wrote the script and directed the third installment.
Besides Sly, returning Cast Members including Carl Weathers, Talia Shire, Burt Young & Burgess Meredith all did a great job for their respective performances.
Mr. T (in his film debut) did an awesome job for his over-the-top obnoxious portrayal as Clubber Lang. He’s a character you love to hate, but at the same time, his presence is unforgettable.
Cinematography felt normal without undergoing technical problems.
Character Development involving Rocky. First he goes from an arrogant sellout to a heart broken man who loses his confidence and then, he finally has a chance to redeem his self-esteem with the help of former opponent, Apollo Creed.
Carl Weathers stated that this is his favorite Rocky film, because Apollo is fleshed out as a humanized foe turned best friend. Similar to Batman & Superman’s rivalry/friendship. Their chemistry other than Rocky’s emotional attachment to Adrian & Mickey, served as the main highlight for the third entry.
According to Kevin Smith & James Rolfe/Angry Video Game Nerd, Batman villain, Bane is heavily inspired by Clubber Lang. Both bad guys easily defeat the hero, several days or months later, Batman & Rocky physically/emotionally recover by undergoing vigorous training before confronting their opponents for a rematch. I guess Christopher & Jonathan Nolan are fans of the Rocky series. Thus, explaining why Rocky III served as one of the main influences of The Dark Knight Rises.
Besides The Dark Knight Rises, Rocky III also inspired Cars 3’s storyline.
Rocky’s theme music returns yet again.
Lang is based on former boxer turned minister & businessman, George Foreman.
The third movie explores the dangers of becoming an arrogant sellout which costs Rocky his championship, self-esteem & confidence. This happened to Ronda Rousey.
Mr. T said his catchphrase, “I pity the fool!”
My favorite scene is when Lang replies to an interviewer with one word about what will happen if Rocky looses. Mr. T deserves Bonus Points for making my spine tingle.
Hulk Hogan (in his film debut) makes an appearance as “Thunderlips.”
In case you forgot, the third film opens with a recap of the second film’s ending.
Rocky’s wresting match with Thunderlips foreshadows his fall and rise.
The Rocky Statue makes its first appearance. If you’re planning a vacation to Philadelphia with your friends or family don’t forget to visit the Philadelphia Museum Of Arts close to the steps.
During a “training montage” Rocky wears a red headband. An Easter Egg to Sly’s first Rambo film, “First Blood.”
An actual training montage shows Rocky regaining his skills adding new boxing tactics he will need to fight Lang.
Without giving too much away, something tragic happened to one of the main characters.
A Plot Twist surrounding Rocky’s winning streak.
Paulie described Eye Of The Tiger as “jungle junk music.”
Kermit The Frog makes a cameo appearance during the opening montage sequence.
The final scene effectively ends with a freeze-frame transitioning to a painting. Why can’t most movies end with a freeze-frame like this?
Defeat: Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger” is where it originated in Rocky III. The reason why I dislike this song, is because it’s been used in way too many movies, television & video games like Rock Band. In retrospect, I will give this flaw a pass back when it was new to the public.
Product Placement featuring several brands such as People, Newsweek, Nike, Nikon, GQ, Wheaties, Gatorade, Coca-Cola, Playboy, Budweiser, Toshiba & Mobil. I will also give this con a pass for marketing slowly transforming Rocky into a cocky sellout.
During a dramatic moment, Rocky’s crying scene unintentionally cracked me up. I know Sly’s trying hard to convey emotion, but every time I hear him cry it’s like he stuffed a mouthful of cookie dough. SpongeBob & Patrick have dignified crying scenes in any episode from SpongeBob SquarePants!
The Final Verdict: A-
Rocky III is one of the best entires in the Rocky franchise. All the positive aspects I have listed, indicates why the third film is considered as one of the best threequels ever made. If you are eager to see Rocky back on the big screen in Creed II, go ahead and watch all seven films to prepare for Drago’s return.