Movie Stats & Links
Burt Young, Antonio Tarver, Geraldine Hughes, Milo
Ventimiglia, James Francis Kelly III
||If they're young,
maybe they won't forget to keep fighting when they're old.
||It's good for the
both of you.
||About what you
would expect from a "Rocky" movie.
||There's some good
montage is as good as they come.
hasn't said before.
||William Chartoff, Kevin King, Charles Winkler, David
I have to admit that when I first read that Sylvester
Stallone was making another "Rocky" movie, this time, the
one that would finally end the franchise, I, like most
people, wondered "Why?" The last movie blew, especially
since I read that the ending got changed tons of times,
especially from the ending I thought would have blown the
movie out of the water, with Rocky dying from his fight with
Tommy Gunn. But buzz started about "Rocky Balboa," that it
didnít suck, and you know what? It didnít. Hereís the storyÖ
A Movie Review
Rocky (Stallone) is older now, and Adrian is dead. Heís
running an Italian restaurant where he is happy to tell his
boxing stories to anyone who will listen while they eat. His
son, Rocky Jr. (Milo Ventimiglia Ė who you might now
recognize from "Heroes"), is having troubles living under
his fatherís shadow, and of course, resents Rocky for this.
On the boxing front, Mason "The Line" Dixon (Antonio Tarver)
is the champ now, but no one likes him, and there doesnít
see to be anyone who actually has the talent to fight him.
Paulie (Burt Young) is still grumpy. Rocky, meanwhile, also
struggles with not having Adrian around, and on an
anniversary tour through the neighborhood, finds himself at the old, local bar he
used to visit, finding little Marie (Geraldine Hughes), whom
he met years ago. Befriending her and her son, Steps (James
Francis Kelly III), seems to give Rocky a new lease on life,
or at least living, but itís not solving the fire that is
deep in his belly.
Thankfully ESPN comes around to turn this fire into a
raging inferno, as they debate, and computerize, whether
Rocky or Mason is the better fighter. Suddenly Rocky wants
to fight again, and when Rocky questions his decision to
fight again, Marie is right there to remind him that he, is,
And so, insert the training montage here, and itís the
montage we like, itís the montage we wait for, and this one
is up there with his beating the shit out of a side of beef
in the original "Rocky," itís back to old school like when
Rocky was training in the snow for his fight with Ivan Drago,
and suddenly the doughy Rocky is transformed into a fighting
The fight this time is between Rocky and Mason, and itís
only an exhibition so that no one gets embarrassed. Mason
thinks he is the shit, Rocky just wants to fight, and
suddenly, of course, Mason learns a thing or two about
really being a boxer, and Rocky shows the world old dudes
can still beat up young dudes.
What makes this a great "Rocky" movie is because they
keep things simple, like the original. Rocky is the
underdog; Mason is the cocky champion. Rocky trains in the
simplest of ways; Mason trains thinking the fight will be a
cakewalk. The announcers are amazed at the shape Rocky is
in; Mason isnít nervous about the fight. And the actual
boxing match is kick ass, as both dudes beat the living
daylights out of each other. I could have done without the
artsy "black and white" stop images during the fight, but in
the end "Rocky Balboa" does what the first "Rocky" did,
having us hope Rocky can deliver that knock-out blow to put
the "Champ" in his place.
I have to say that Sylvester Stallone, much to my initial
dismissal of the movie, closed the series with a great
ending (hopefully he wonít let this movie go to his head and
try and write another). We have sappiness, we have
inspiration, we have beating up a side of beef, we have a
drunkení Paulie, we have a cute normal dudette, we have a
great fight, we have a nice training montage, and we have a
sequel almost as good as the original, missing only the
rawness "Rocky" brought to the big screen.
I really enjoyed "Rocky Balboa," but the grittiness of
the original was missing, which was the only issue I had. As
such itís a solid 4 stars out of 5 for "Rocky Balboa."
Hopefully this is the ending legacy that is "Rocky"
because unlike #5, this is a good one.
It's not artsy. It's not preachy. It's just
"Rocky." Go and see it on the big screen - this one
Thatís it for this one! Iím the Dude on the Right!!