Another return to the ring for Rocky Balboa sees Stallone ditch drama for all-out adrenalin-fuelled entertainment. Mirroring the new glamorous lifestyle that Rocky has, Stallone delivers a slick, pop-promo-styled film that offers a natural continuation for the now complacent boxer.
Rocky gets his wake-up call when hot and hungry underdog "Clubber Lang" (Mr T) gives him the whipping of his life. The added departure of Mickey from his life drives Balboa into despair. But rather than mire Rocky in yet more dialogue-driven emotional hell, Stallone goes for a faster, more action-driven movie.
Sly relentlessly cranks up the viewer with the obvious conclusion that Rocky will ultimately make his comeback. He further spikes this increasingly tempting bout by making Mr T's deliciously evil Clubber Lang as thoroughly nasty as possible.
Aided by the now friendly Apollo Creed, Rocky gets back into the now familiar two-tone training sequence. First attempt being weak and uninspired with the second effort full of mad endurance training that's guaranteed to psyche up even the most miserable viewer.
Having Apollo train Balboa works well as he sets about injecting some grace and finesse into the Italian Stallion. On another level it also paves the way for a differently styled final bout that while slick, also offers greater scope for a new height in dramatics. Such visceral eye candy may not please everyone but as a glamorous action-thriller some of the basic rules of the genre were written with "Rocky III".
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