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Six years, multimillions of dollars, and thousands of Nautilus repetitions after the first ROCKY, Sylvester Stallone was back again with this third installment in his popular boxing saga. Bigger but not better, ROCKY III begins with the final minutes of the previous film, as Rocky
(Stallone) gallantly takes the championship from Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). The action then shifts three years and 10 successful title defenses ahead, as a wealthy Rocky considers retirement. His attempt to bow out gracefully is sidetracked by Clubber Lang (nicely portrayed by the menacing Mr.
T), the loud and brutal No. 1 contender, who defeats Rocky in a title match, setting the stage for another amazing Rocky comeback. Despite the usual training montage and a big, new, Oscar-nominated theme song (Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger"--describing the edge Apollo tells Rocky he's lost), ROCKY
III crawls along without dramatic impetus, failing to convey the big emotions and missing the humor of the first two films. Talia Shire's Adrian is relegated to the background, Burgess Meredith's Mickey and Burt Young's Paulie have grown redundant and annoying, and Stallone's script and
performance (he also directed) lack his earlier efforts' charm.