Rocky Balboa dir. by

27 January 2007

Genre: ,
Cast: , , , , ,
Rated :

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usIt isn’t often that you describe a boxing film as sweet. It isn’t often I describe a film as sweet and mean that in a positive light, but if I was asked for a one word review of Rocky Balboa, then sweet would be it. And that is sweet in an “awwww” sense of the word, not the Col. O’Neil from SG type sweet.

Honestly, I think this is my favourite film of the year so far.

I know, it is only January, and the films I’ve seen so far haven’t been great, but I really, really enjoyed this film. I’m not saying it a great piece of art or anything, it is what it is, a Rocky film.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who greeted the news that Stallone was making a new Rocky film with a snort of laughter. I enjoyed the first film, and have seen a few of the others, RTE had a Rocky season at some stage, but I never loved any of them. And I fully expected this to be a piece of drivel. But then I saw some of the trailers, and began to want to see it. And, lo, it was great.

You know the basic plot, Rocky, in his fifties starts to think about making a comeback in a small way. Fighting in local, small bouts, because a fighter is all he has ever been. But the current undisputed world heavyweight champ isn’t too popular. He wins all the time, and his opponents don’t offer much, so the public begins to turn away. His promoters are worried about the lack of revenue, so when a tv show uses a computer simulation to find out who would win, Mason “The Line” Dixon or Rocky “The Italian Stallion” Balboa in his prime, and Rocky wins, they get very interested.

Can I say again I really enjoyed this film. From the little flashbacks and echoes to the earlier films, that music, everything was just right.
Is it clichéd and full of cheese? Yes, but in a good way. In a way Rocky has pretty much the same message as The Pursuit of Happyness, but it lacks the selfishness that I think was at the heart of my problem with that film. Instead of trying to succeed at anything in particular Rocky is about being true to yourself. Taking all the knocks life has to offer and still moving on.

This’ll be one I add to the dvd collection, I may even buy the earlier films, even the ones I know are trash. No pain no gain afterall.

IMDb | First Showing | Cinematical | | Word of Mouth (scroll down for Rocky)

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7 Responses

  1. Boom boom! For once I can agree with you whole-heartedly. The original Rocky has always been one of my favourite films. Anyone who can watch it without being moved is a low-down durty cynic.

    Rocky II was damned fine, too, but after them they became risible. I didn't see the one before this, but I remember seeing Rocky IV (during that same RTE season, I think), and almost dying of laughter when Rocky says to the Russian fans: "If I can change, and you can change, then everybody can change!". Not to mention the KGB agents being moved to a standing ovation.

    I even love the title: "Rocky Balboa" announces it's going to be a character study, and not a mere tub-thumper. About half-way through this film I thought it had even surpassed the original, but I thought the final third let it down slightly. (And as for the end credits sequence, with a load of eejits running up the museum steps, no words can be harsh enough. It almost ruins the film.)

    Not sure I'd call it "sweet". I watched it through moist eyes most of the time, especially the scene in the pound, when Rocky identifies with the ugly and runtish dog. The best scene was the heart-baring encounter between Rocky and his son.

    Easily the best film of the year, so far. I wouldn't be surprised if nothing strips it off its title. Geddit? Eh? Geddit? It's a boxing metaphor!

  2. Fence says:

    Hi Mal, still hanging around the blogosphere are we :)

    I actually liked the scenes in the credits, sure a little hokey, but its fits perfectly with the idea of Rocky being this inspirational character.

    And I didn't think that Punchey was ugly at all :)

    I'll stick with my sweet assessment. Sweet as in nice and just full of awwww moments.

  3. I didn't think Punchy was ugly, either, but he was ugly in the story.

    Whenever I see a film I look up reviews of it, usually to splurt in indignation. Nice to see this one is getting the credit it deserves. Yo!

    Another thing I didn't like was the characters of Steps; he seemed kind of superfluous, he wasn't really developed.

    And then there was the jacket Rocky wore in his restaurant. It deserved a 12 rating just for that.

  4. A 12 certificate, I meant.

  5. Fence says:

    That jacket was a fine thing wasn't it :) I read review too, but only after I've written mine.

    Steps wasn't much of a character, I agree, but that didn't bother me in the slightest.

  6. Carl V. says:

    As you know if you read my review I laughed hysterically when I saw the first trailer. I thought Stallone had lost every last brain cell. Then the trailers started showing that there might actually be a story in the film, so much so that I was there to see it opening weekend. It is such a fantastically nostalgia-inducing film for those of us who grew up with Rocky in our childhood. This is one I cannot wait to see again on DVD.

  7. Fence says:

    I read the start of your review Carl, but hadn't seen Rocky at that stage, must pop back and take a look. Thanks for the reminder.

    Rocky wasn't huge in my childhood, but he was present, and it was so nice to see the little touches from the previous films, whether that was something like the tortoises or the shots from the earlier films.

    Rocky really is a great character and I love the way Sly plays him.