Combustible Celluloid
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With: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Mr. T, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith, Tony Burton, Ina Fried, Hulk Hogan
Written by: Sylvester Stallone
Directed by: Sylvester Stallone
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 99
Date: 05/28/1982

Rocky III (1982)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Fight Clubber

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Working behind the camera again, Sylvester Stallone keeps things going in an effective way, expanding on the familiar characters and hitting all the right beats. There's still a somewhat gritty quality to this one, despite the encroaching '80s, bigger budgets and higher grosses, although the film's most enduing component, Survivor's supercharged tune "Eye of the Tiger," is more slick than grit. As the story begins, Rocky (Stallone) is successful and wealthy, and the city even puts up a statue of him. After charity bout with a pro wrestler, Thunderlips (Hulk Hogan), he is challenged by the tough, angry Clubber Lang (Mr. T). Mickey (Burgess Meredith) believes that Rock won't be able to handle the challenger, especially after Rocky begins half-heartedly training in a carnival-like environment, with spectators wandering around and merch being sold. The night of the fight, Mickey suffers a heart-attack, and, distracted, Rocky loses. It's up to none other than Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) to re-train Rocky, taking him back to basics. The film ends with Rocky and Apollo entering the ring for a private rematch, the film freezing just as the first punches are thrown.

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