Wow! This is a trully gripping film. My favourite of the Rocky films. Yes he does get smacked about a bit (apparently sometimes a lot of the punches were connecting on Stallone) as Rocky always does. But its not quite as painful to watch as Rocky I and Rocky II.
Rocky feels compelled to get into the ring after his friend dies after being horrifying mauled in the ring by a Russian fighter - Drago. There's some mumbo jumbo about US and USSR cold war stuff, but that very much takes a backseat to the intense training scenes and nail-biting final fight between Rocky and Drago.
Just looking at the the size and height of Drago [Lundgren] who is supposedly computer-trained, steroid-enhanced muscle that "destroys" what he touches and comparing to Stallone [Rocky] ranks it up a notch.
There is some amazing 80's music from Survivor for the "actors" to really go full out on their training to. These guys are just going for it with barbells, speedballs, rope, skipping ropes, tracks, elevated treadmills, climbing machines, sparring, lifting wagons, wood chopping, frozen river fording, mountain climbing, crazy looking "no pain... no pain..." isometrics training and wagon wheel fitting. The actors really are althetes but still manage to turn in a competent performance (so don't be put off!).
If you look at the cover with Stallone squaring up to Lundgren you know this is going to be one hard fought battle. Really, there is no way Rocky should win and Burt Young turns in an heart felt peformance as his corner man and injects that bit of a common man feel which grounds the training and final fight scenes well.
If you haven't seen this film I cannot recommend it enough. If you have seen it why not snap it up on widescreen and Dolby 5.1 stereo. That's why I bought it.