January 3, 2007

Rocky Balboa - $8

Like many other people I laughed when I first heard that a 6th Rocky movie was being made. This skepticism was well founded considering that Rocky 5 was truly a bad movie, Stallone is 60 years old and boxing isn't exactly popular right now. These are among the many reasons critic's everywhere went into Rocky Balboa with low expectations.

Just like the underdog Stallone plays in the Rocky movies, the 6th installment gives you the last thing you expect, a great movie.

The first half of this movie, the last installment in the Rocky franchise, follows an aged Rocky who is recovering from a bankruptcy and living a simple life. Rocky runs a little Italian restaurant where he tells stories of past fights to his customers. Adrian has passed away from "woman cancer" as Rocky puts it, and Rocky is shown as a quiet and kind man. One of my favorite sub plots is Rocky's charity toward a former fighter named Spider whom Rocky had defeated in the first movie.

Before you start thinking this movie can't possibly feature a fight, what with Rocky's age, it happens. In a computer generated fight between Rocky in his prime and the current unpopular champion Mason "The Line" Dixon, Rocky is victorious. To improve his image Dixon agrees to an exhibition with Rocky who feels he has more in the tank.

This movie came at me in ways I didn't expect. I was moved by Rocky's loneliness and kindness toward those around him an I was entertained by the classic training sequences and fight at the end. This movie was full of sentiment, surprisingly good acting and writing, and a classic Rocky storyline.

I put Rocky Balboa on my 'Watch It' list and give it a value of $8.

1 comment:

Jon said...

I like a character movie, and it is cool when they can take a character everyone knows and shed more light on him. I'm in. At the rate of my current movie viewing I should get to this one before Stallone hits 65.

(where's the review of 2001?)