Rocky III is such a drastic shift in tone from the previous films, it’s almost like a new series. III has more in common with Rocky IV than Rocky II. Stallone is beyond ripped here (long gone is the thick, heavy weight champion – Rocky is now a lean mean body builder type). Things also change in the story department where the fight, the training, the title is the total focus.
Despite this shift, this film is classic. It’s endlessly quotable. Mr. T is truly a threat here. The twist with bringing Apollo back to train Rocky is genius. The fight is brutal and Rocky’s eventual triumph feels earned. It’s absolutely entertaining start to finish.