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Rocky III

Year: 1982
Production Co: Chartoff/Winkler Productions
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Producer: Irwin Winkler/Robert Chartoff
Writer: Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Carl Weathers, Mr T, Talia Shire, Hulk Hogan, Burgess Meredith, Burt Young
Though a slight change of pace for the Rocky franchise, one thing it still has in spades is the 'all right Rocko!' factor, a modern Cinderella story so obtuse in its intentions it virtually galvanised the word 'underdog' as it refers to movies.

Instead of fighting for his shot, this time Rocky (Stallone) is fighting to keep it. Now firmly on top, he's going soft thanks to the paparazzi, endorsement deals and good living. But a challenger is rising up from the same mean streets Rocky did, and he has the Eye of the Tiger. The fearsome Clubber Lang (Mr T) faces Rocky in the ring and beats him easily.

Laying low and licking his wounds, wondering how he let go of the hunger and everything else that was important from his former life, Rocky is surprised when Apollo (Weathers) seeks him out to train him for the ultimate grudge (re) match against Clubber.

In hindsight, the Rocky series had already run out of ideas. The first two films dealt with him getting his chance at glory, and all Rocky 3 is really about is him getting back in touch with the fighter inside to retain such glory. The Cold War parable of Rocky 4 veered off the rails, but all subsequent instalments were really variations on the same them - reclaiming former fame and fortune.

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