Rocky III movie review

First, there was Rockya classic film, a character study of the most likable character possibly ever.  Then, there was the sequel, Rocky II, and we dove further down the rabbit hole and got an extra montage.  I imagine that Rocky III was supposed to be the final installment, and I think you could argue cases for this being the best and the worst Rocky movie up to this point.  Let’s dig in! 

The case FOR this being the best Rocky movie (up to this point)
1.  How do you up the drama for a third Rocky movie? Rocky loses his title, Mickey dies and Apollo Creed takes his place.  Yeah, that’ll work.
2. The first Rocky movie has two fights, the second just has the one – this third installment has THREE fights!
3.  Upping the star power with Hulk Hogan and Mr. T!  True, Mr. T was nobody back then, but boy, did he break out as a big star afterwards.  Besides his roll on The A-Team, he also had an animated tv show.  My Mr. T big wheel was my prized possession – I pitied the fool who didn’t admire it!
4. Rope a Dope:  awesome to see this bit of boxing history make it into the movie
5.  Iconic dialogue:  Adrian’s speech, “Eye of the Tiger, Rock!” THIS:

The case AGAINST this being the best Rocky movie (up to this point)
1. There are a lot of montages in this movie.  The first movie had one, the second had two, this one has… a lot.  Some scenes are almost montages while others are blatant… It’s hard to get an official count.  I’d say there’s at least three, which is pushing it.
2.Mickey’s death doesn’t come out of nowhere, but it always bothered me.  I feel like it’s there to garner unearned sympathy for Rocky and I hate that Clubber is the inadvertent cause.  By this point, the audience already hates Clubber, he doesn’t need to kill Mickey, too.  It’s just too much.
3. I like that they completely forget about the kid once they go to California.  He was a plot point in the second one, but in Rocky III, he’s useless.
4. I know Paulie’s character is full of faults, but between the opening scene, the racism and his constant spouting of his “I don’t sweat you” catch phrase, I’m about sick to death of him.  And then at the end of the film, he suddenly understands boxing: “No, he’s not getting killed, he’s getting mad!”
5.  “Protect that eye!”  Yeah, this movie completely dropped that thread and any idea that Rocky’s brain had been damaged by the first fight with Apollo.  (In the first movie, Gazzo’s driver says he heard Adrian was “retarded” and that Rocky should take her to the zoo because “retards love the zoo.”  In the second movie, Rocky wants to go to the zoo and the commercial producer surmises that Rocky has brain damage.  This is not a coincidence.)

For me, I love this movie for all its achievements and faults.  It’s not perfect, but there’s a lot to like and it’s so well made (you’ve really got to take your hat off to Sylvester Stallone for writing, directing and starring) that the faults mostly fall by the wayside for me.  It would have been a fitting end for the series…

SIGH.  But that didn’t happen.  We’ll get to that soon enough!

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on August 12, 2015, in lists, movie review and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: