Featured Post

Letterboxd Reviews

So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Movie Review - Rocky III

***Rocky Week -- Day 3***
***Note:  Spoilers may appear in all Rocky Week reviews.***
Rocky III (1982)
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith, and Mr. T
Directed by Sylvester Stallone

I guess at this point I must come to terms that every Rocky film is going to end with a big fight -- I mean, it's a sports movie so I won't hold that against it since it's characteristic of the genre.  However, I'd hope that every film doesn't follow the same notes of a retired Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) heading back into the ring for one more Big Fight prefaced by our titular character going through the same rigorous training process we've seen before.

Instead of Apollo Creed, Rocky is facing Clubber Lang (Mr. T), the newest "It" boxer.  Despite the warnings of his trainer Mickey (Burgess Meredith), Rocky heads into the ring to fight Lang and fails miserably.  Much like Mickey told him, Rocky was too preoccupied with endorsements, charity events, and celebrity to focus on fighting and it did Rocky in.  It also did Mickey in as the elderly trainer can't deal with the fact that his protégé has fallen so drastically.  Mickey ends up passing away, leaving Rocky devastated and unwilling to fight ever again.  However, during a chance meeting with his former opponent Apollo (Carl Weathers), Rocky agrees to be trained by Apollo in an attempt to regain his former glory and bring honor to Mickey.

Written and directed by Stallone, Rocky III begins yet again with a several minute long recap of the previous movie's final fight.  Why this is necessary, I'll never know.  Fortunately, the film picks up a bit with a nice little montage showing Rocky Balboa's ascendence in the boxing world while juxtaposing against Clubber Lang's recent rise as well.  This cleverly posits the film's pivotal showdown from the very beginning of the flick which works in Stallone's favor.

Unfortunately, whereas Stallone captured emotional moments in Rocky II, he doesn't succeed nearly as well in Rocky III.  Mickey's death should've been heartbreaking, but it's not set up in a way to garner the audience's favor.  It's presumably a pivotal moment in the titular character's life, but it disappointingly doesn't connect emotionally and considering it's the crux of the "homelife" aspect of the story, it's a fairly big issue.

Rocky III isn't particularly awful, but it certainly the least successful of the three Rocky films thus far. I'm pondering how this series can really branch out from here...

The RyMickey Rating:  C

No comments:

Post a Comment