Return of the original director and Bill Conti's music in an attempt at more serious realism again after the two last sequels who were fun but not much in the drama department. In this one Rocky can not box again and takes on a protege who is a dork so he has to punch some sense in him. A small but warm cameo by Burgess Meredith who is sorely missed add to the some nostalgia, but Sly's whining son is a bad addition.
I've given this so many chances, but it's a Rocky movie only in name. The melodrama is pumped up to a really grating level and Stallone seems to be on auto-pilot most of the film. There was potential there to explore Balboa's increasing distance from his son and it is probably the most interesting aspect of the film, but it is better explored in the next installment making this one kind of moot.