It 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.