(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)
(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)
SW SCORE: 29
2.9 out of 5 🐙
Look, I know Rocky was an amazing movie. And Rocky 2 was a lot less amazing. And, well, by Rocky III, by any objective artistic evaluation (which I’m not sure is valid because art is never objective), is not amazing. But 8-year-old me would have disagreed. He would have agreed vehemently. And he would even know how to spell ‘vehemently’ because he was a spelling nerd.
8-year-old me would have told you Mr. T was the scariest Rocky villain in the entire franchise. And that’s no mean feat considering Ivan Drago was plenty scary in his own right. I don’t understand why Mr. T didn’t have a bigger acting career. The guy is one of the most charismatic screen presences ever. He bristles energy and power. If it were up to me, I would cast him in every action movie ever. Tell me you couldn’t find a role for him. Tell me that and I will ignore you.
Other than that, it followed the same plot of every single Rocky movie that followed the singular original: Rocky gets his ass kicked by some monster bad guy and then he has to return to his humble roots and rise up again and beat the monster bad guy. It’s always Rocky beating the odds. Always. There are some wrinkles here and there. But that’s the jam. And for an 8-year-old, you don’t need a more complex plot.
It was just a guy beating up the scariest guy 8-year-old me had ever seen and that was enough to captivate me.
Special shout out to Hulk Hogan: I was a big WWF (it was WWF back then before they lost the lawsuit) fan and it was awesome to see my favorite wrestler (yes, I was a Hulkamaniac – I know – lame) in one of my favorite movie franchises. And the scene he was in was hilarious. He was great and that absolutely gave huge exposure to the WWE.
*Important postscript: I am fully aware, especially as a person of color, that Mr. T’s scariness was due in great part to society’s unjust and racist portrayal of black people. It’s fucked up, to put it mildly. But the point of this review is to do it from the perspective of my 8-year-old self. And I didn’t know what the deal was back then.
(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.
(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)
(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so
(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)