Rocky Balboa (2006)

I really enjoyed it, even though I had never seen any of the earlier Rocky films. I mean, I though Adrian was a man!

Stallone is out to represent the everyday, lower-middle class American. He achieves success in it too. Much of what he writes into his legacy film is cliché, but it's well acted and honest cliché. Cliché isn't necessarily bad either. Follow your dreams. Help out those in need. Be humble. It's not how hard you throw the punches, it's how many times you get back up after taking the punches. Some basic humanity, but excellently portrayed and easy to cheer for.

The film is unusually clean - no nudity, no swearing, no gratuitous violence, not even any sexual innuendos. This is meant to be a family film - something for an 11-year-old boy to watch and be inspired by, or an adult for that matter. I congratulate Stallone for achieving this because there may have been a lot of pressure to make it more real - it's set in the rough part of Philadelphia, which lately doesn't exactly live up to its name.

A weak part of the film is the bad guy - there is none. Rocky's opponent as he comes out of retirement to fight a charity exhibition match is a cocky, undefeated young punk who is full of himself, but really can't act. It's too bad, becaue he distracted me from what may have been a neat side story. Missed that. Rocky's son is also a weak character, but the film is about weak people being helped out by a strong one, so maybe that's why he's there.

When the "Italian Stallion" does finally begin to train about 3/4 of the way through, the excitement begins to escalate. You have a sense throughout the entire film that there is going to be a fight of course, and Rocky will likely win, but it's still exciting to watch a 60-yr-old guy punch sides of beef. His tactic by the way is blunt force trauma as speed is not an option anymore. The fight is fun too.

Official Site | IMDB

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