Rocky Balboa

"Good"

Rocky Balboa Review


When last we saw Rocky Balboa, our prized overachieving contender (played to monosyllabic perfection by Sylvester Stallone) had prevailed in a street fight against his protégé, Tommy "Machine" Gunn (Tommy Morrison).

The Italian Stallion may have triumphed that day, but the feel-good franchise long since had thrown in the towel. Rocky V did more damage to the character's legacy than Ivan Drago, Clubber Lang, and Apollo Creed combined. It issued a crushing TKO to a collection of films that celebrated victory in the face of impossible odds, and it left a horrible taste in fans' mouths. By all accounts, the final bell had rung on Rocky.

But if we've learned anything about Balboa over the years, it's that he never stays on the mat for long. After each significant beating, the thick-skulled bruiser digs deep into his immeasurable heart to find the resolve to stand up, keep fighting and win in the end. Rocky Balboa has to be the boxer's final round. Stallone, writing and directing this proper goodbye, single-handedly infuses the film with an overpowering will to go the distance. And by every account, it is a fantastic Rocky sequel, a melancholic victory lap down memory lane for the iconic underdog.

That doesn't mean Balboa is a great movie. It has its share of flaws. Burt Young returns as Paulie, whose temper tantrums have always been a wart on the uplifting story line. Newcomer Milo Ventimiglia steps in to play Rocky's son, a Philly stock trader living in his dad's shadow, but the underdeveloped character only shows up when our hero -- now 60 and running a restaurant named for his dead wife -- starts to gain a little confidence and needs an obstacle to bring him back down to earth. Here he's fighting the current champion, Mason "The Line" Dixon. But the guy gets precious little screen time; he's the least developed Rocky villain of all.

But Stallone makes enough wise decisions to keep Balboa above water. He returns to the character-driven formula of the first Rocky, spotlighting the man's emotional baggage outside of the ring. (The film contains approximately 10 minutes of boxing, which is more than enough.) Balboa generates sufficient nostalgia, lacing Bill Conti's fist-pumping score behind the familiar training montage. You'll swear it is 1976 all over again.

A candid Stallone has admitted in interviews that his dissatisfaction with Rocky V inspired him to craft Balboa, so the people's champion -- and the character he's most often associated with -- could exit the ring with his head held high. Mission accomplished.

Never punch a puppy.



Rocky Balboa

Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Wednesday 20th December 2006

Box Office USA: $70.1M

Box Office Worldwide: $119.2M

Budget: $24M

Distributed by: MGM

Production compaines: MGM

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Fresh: 133 Rotten: 42

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Rocky Balboa, as Paulie, as Rocky Jr., Geraldine Hughes as Marie, James Francis Kelly III as Steps, as Duke, A. J. Benza as L.C., as Adrian, Henry G. Sanders as Martin, as Mason 'The Line' Dixon, Pedro Lovell as Spider Rico, Ana Gerena as Isabel, Angela Boyd as Angie, Louis Giansante as Bar Thug, Maureen Schilling as Lucky's Bartender

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

Advertisement
The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

Partisan Movie Review

Partisan Movie Review

With his feature debut, young Australian filmmaker Ariel Kleiman tells a creepy story about a...

The Revenant Movie Review

The Revenant Movie Review

A wrenching saga of survival and revenge, Alejandro G. Inarritu's new epic is just as...

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

Quentin Tarantino is a filmmaker who simply can't be ignored, especially when he lobs a...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.