REVIEW: Rocky Balboa

I saw this at the cinema when I was 14 years old and I wasn’t too keen on it seeing as I didn’t see any of the otherRocky films. However, only until recently I decided to give it a re-watch. The entire franchise was overall a success for me but Rocky IV and Rocky V were disappointments and seeing as Rocky Balboa became the first Rocky in 26 years, expectations for this re-watch weren’t high at all but they weren’t low either. It was like I was going to watch this for the first time again seeing as I can’t remember hardly anything that happened except Rocky goes into the ring for one last time and that his wife Adrian has now passed away.

When I did re-watch it, I liked it a lot better second time round and appreciated it for what it really was. Many would get the impression that this is a possible reboot of the original Rocky despite Rocky is now about 20 years older but there are many differences that this one has. I found this a deeply emotional film especially the fact that Rocky is almost now all by himself seeing as his wife is now dead, his close friends have all gone and his relationship with his son isn’t a very close one but despite that, we see big hearted Rocky once again that we love to see.

Just when we saw Sylvester Stallone at his worst as Rocky Balboa in Rocky IV and Rocky V! He ultimately saves it until the last minute and for me gives a great performance like he did in the first two films. Unbelievably, I still cannot understand why Stallone can be so fantastic as Rocky in Rocky I, II and III, be so awful in Rocky IV and V and then go back to an awesome performance again in Rocky Balboa akaRocky VI. We see worn and old Rocky in this sixth one as far as appearance but we see have the old Rocky Balboa with the big heart and strong pride like we saw in Rocky and Rocky II when he was younger and still a second-class boxer before he became World Heavyweight Champion. In many ways, this was like the first one all over again because Rocky is once again the underdog against a stronger opponent and it ends and begins in a similar way too. Talia Shire only appears in flashbacks from the previous films seeing as Adrian has now passed away so she isn’t really in this film at all but despite that, Sylvester Stallone still made this film fantastic and gave us hope that is as fantastic as the older Rocky films. Burt Young was brilliant as Paulie and was almost the closest person to him now after Adrian died seeing as Paulie is Rocky’s brother-in-law. Milo Ventimiglia replaces Sly’s real-life son Sage Stallone as Rocky Balboa Jr. but what we saw of him, he was pretty good too.

Stallone, you confuse me! One minute you’re fantastic at acting and directing, then you’re awful and then you’re fantastic again! It was solid directing in the boxing scenes as well as the ordinary calm scenes. I do think that a lot of people perhaps don’t give Rocky Balboaenough credit as a final film to the series and like a farewell goodbye. It was still a great idea that Stallone decided to make this especially after Rocky V was a critical disaster. One thing I will say to you, Sly, is that your Rocky franchise as a whole is better than what you have ever done! I think this final Rocky film after over 20 years inspired him to make a final Rambo film after 20 years and that received a good critical response too.

Overall, Rocky Balboa is an absolutely brilliant finale to the Rocky franchise that I absolutely loved! Better than Rocky III, IV and V but doesn’t quite beat Rocky or Rocky II. Here’s a tip to those weaklings who can’t make successful franchises, this is how you end a franchise: with solid character development, a strong story and an emotional farewell ending whether it is an emotional film or not. At least get the audience’s attention. That is probably the better way of putting it.


~ by SJMJ91 on 21/05/2012.

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