Ding, ding! The magic of Rocky 3, Clubber Lang and Eye of the Tiger
TODAY'S RETRO-REVIEW: Continuing our look at the Rocky franchise in honor of the newly released Creed, here's guest blogger Jim "Dr. Dim" Fitzsimons with a review of Rocky III (1982). And don't forget our Rocky podcast is now online too.
THE PLOT: With Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) atop of the boxing world, his gravelly voiced, cantankerous manager Mickey (Burgess Meredith) schedules a series of boxing matches that aren't quite as challenging as they ought to be. However, Rocky is too tied up in being the champ and a husband and a dad to notice. Until, that is, he is challenged by the ferocious Clubber Lang (Mr. T). Rocky accepts the challenge and gets beaten badly. The death of his manager means Rocky needs to turn to his old rival, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), in order to capture the "eye of the tiger" and regain the title.
MAYBE YOU REMEMBER: Mr. T brought his mother to the premiere and she became so upset by the lurid slurs his character hurled at Adrian (Talia Shire) that she scolded her son and walked out of the theater.
SURELY YOU DIDN'T FORGET: The awesome boxer/wrestler exhibition match-up with Thunderlips (Hulk Hogan). Hogan's massive 6'7" frame went a long way to making him appear as a giant compared to 5'10" Stallone. (Stallone is that tall? Hmm. I'm skeptical.)
THE TUNE: Yes, of course, Survivor's Eye of the Tiger was the rousing backdrop to the training montage with Creed and it worked its way to being one of the most overplayed songs of the decade.
WHAT CRITICS SAID: "Learning, especially from Scorsese, in his approach to action and performance, writer/director/star Stallone has somehow contrived to make each of his movies into a more magnificent spectacle than the last." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
WHY WE STILL LOVE IT: Two words: Clubber Lang!
TOP 5 MEMORABLE LINES FROM ROCKY III:
5. "What did you say, Paper Champion? I'll beat you like a dog, a dog, you fool!"
4. "No, I don't hate Balboa. I pity the fool, and I will destroy any man who tries to take what I got."
3. "Dead meat."
2. Clubber Lang: "My prediction?"
Interviewer: "Yes, you're prediction."
1. "Ding. Ding."