Rocky Balboa

Rated 2.0

Fighters fight. Rocky is a fighter. Stallone is Rocky. Does there need to be any more complicated of a reason for a man in his late 50s to get in a ring to trade blows with the current heavyweight champion? If all that matters is that you hear those horns (“Gonna fly now!”) followed by a training montage, and then a lovable underdog battling a jerky favorite in the final scene, then everything else really is moot. The basic story is that Rocky is now old, living alone in his old Philly ’hood and deeply mourning the passing of his beloved Adrian. He runs a restaurant where he relives his boxing days with customers, and he tries to keep up a relationship with the reluctant son who can’t live down being in the shadow of his dad. We naturally get a climax in the ring. But the buildup is nothing more than a weary-looking (albeit impressively muscle-bound) Stallone pointing us in the direction of his previous accomplishments. It’s been 30 years since the original Rocky came out. Why not just re-release the original—a 30th anniversary special? Audiences would’ve still cheered, egos would’ve still been stroked and money would’ve been made. And, though it hardly seems a concern to those involved, dignity would not have come away so punch-drunk.