Poor old Rocky’s (Sly Stallone) got irreparable brain damage after pulverising the ‘Siberian Express’ in Moscow, so he decides to retire. Alas, his crooked accountant has lost all the winnings, so the big oaf has to sell his house and move back to the Philadelphia neighbourhood where everything started 15 years ago. Here, he resists the blandishments of a pushy promoter to make a comeback and instead starts coaching young fighter Tommy Gunn, which causes Rocky Jr (Sage Stallone, his offspring in real life too) to come over all alienated and miserable.
Yup, Rocky doesn’t get back into the ring in what everybody thought, and indeed hoped, would be the final instalment, which could perhaps explain its failure at the US box office. Armchair pugilists are instead served an unremitting diet of Rocky family angst. The few powered, punch-driven scenes are well up to scratch, thuogh.