Writer: Sylvester Stallone (Screenplay)
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Antonio Tarver, Geraldine Hughes, Milo Ventimiglia, Tony Burton, A.J. Benza
Plot: Thirty years after the ring of the first bell, Rocky Balboa comes out of retirement and dons his gloves for his final fight; against the reigning heavyweight champ Mason ‘The Line’ Dixon.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Nice Chapter in Saga
Story: Rocky Balboa starts with Mason ‘The Line’ Dixon (Tarver) with yet another title defence but the fans are bored of him fighting easy opponents and are calling for a real challenger. We meet an older Rocky (Stallone) still in the neighbourhood with Paulie (Young) but now Adrian has died. Rocky still struggles to build his relationship with his son Robert (Ventimiglia) who is all grown up working in business.
When a sports channel runs a simulator to see who would win in a fight between Rocky and Dixon it gets the world talking about a potential showdown between the two. When the talk turns into a reality Rocky comes out of retirement to face Dixon in an exhibition match for one time only.
Rocky Balboa is a touching tribute to the original Rocky, we get to see Rocky back to where he is vulnerable without Adrian. We do get the old story of underdog versus the champion which works for this film, I do think a lot of people didn’t enjoy this movie because it is slow moving but I do think this really works well for where the story needs to go. It is nice seeing how an aging sports star is struggling with fulfilment in his life in his older years. Sure it isn’t the most original but it is all well worth the watch after the originals.
Sylvester Stallone: Rocky is now retired; he owns a restaurant with Paulie but misses Adrian every day after her death. He continues to look after the neighbourhood with Marie being the latest person to helps. Rocky still has desire to compete in the ring even if it is only at low level but he gets put into an exhibition match against the champion. Sylvester does a good job in this role which reflexes his acting career to his iconic character.
Antonio Tarver: Mason ‘The Line’ Dixon is the champion the fans all hate as they don’t believe he has ever beaten anyone of any merit. He ends up having to face Rocky in a no win fight to prove he can beat a true competitor. Antonio is good as the rival fighter but isn’t to the levels of the previous ones.
Geraldine Hughes: Marie is a local lady that Rocky once helped when she was young, Rocky looks to her to support her. She pushes Rocky to believe in his dreams of returning to the ring. Geraldine is a good addition to the cast which helps bring out the human side of Rocky.
Milo Ventimiglia: Robert Balboa Jr is Rocky’s son who has moved into business world he seems very distant from Rocky always avoiding him but when his father returns to the ring he ends up standing next to him in the fight. Milo is good but doesn’t get enough character building.
Support Cast: Rocky Balboa has the basic supporting cast we have all got to know from a Rocky film.
Director Review: Sylvester Stallone – Sylvester does well directing this, his story of his character on his journey at the next level.
Sports: Rocky Balboa is a film showing how difficult it is to get on with life after sports fame along with being the champ when the fans are against you.
Settings: Rocky Balboa uses the same setting from previous outings.
Suggestion: Rocky Balboa is one for the fans to watch to complete the series. (Franchise Fans Watch)
Best Part: Aging sports star struggling is a good story to watch.
Worst Part: Slow moving.
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: Has one in Creed
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Box Office: $70 Million
Budget: $24 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes
Tagline: 30 years ago, “Rocky” became the Academy-award winning movie of 1976. Now, Rocky’s back in the 21st Century.
Overall: Solid conclusion to the in ring outing for Rocky