Rocky Balboa Reviews
In this PG-rated sports drama, widower Rocky Balboa (Stallone) comes out of retirement and dons his gloves for his final fight, which pits him against the reigning heavyweight champ Mason 'The Line' Dixon (Antonio Tarver).
Somebody Up There Likes Me is a film about and expression attributed to boxing champ Rocky Marciano, but it likewise applies to another successful pugilist called Rocky, namely Balboa. With Adrian - long Rocky's anchor - out of the picture, the iconic character gets a refreshing new story arc while keeping her spirit very much alive and Stallone brings great poignancy to the part. Here, as a restaurateur happily telling old fight stories at - you guessed it -Adrian's, his next chapter feels wholly appropriate and plausible yet entirely respectful of the Balboa legacy. It's also great to see Young, so long relegated to third tier player, finally get elevated to second billing. If only his scenes with Stallone - mostly them trekking through Philadelphia revisiting long gone haunts - didn't descend into melodrama. Rocky's embattled relationship with his son teeters on the same melodramatic precipice, but it nonetheless rings true. As for the fight, in which computer analytics break down the actualities in a staged exhibition between far-over-the-hill Rocky and the current champion, it borders on hogwash. But, truth be told, it's damn entertaining hogwash.
Bottom Line: Million Dollar Maybe
Same kind of boxing, same opponent, even without Mickey 's guidance, Apollo ' s guidance, Adrian ' s guidance it's still the same Rocky, just a bit aged. Far beyond the successes, victories, and intensity that is aged.
It's Something Gone. Veteran's Reunion.
My favorite part of the movie is the opening, where we see Rocky is still living in the same townhome he shared with Adrian, still has pet turtles, and still has Adrian's photo next to his bed. He wakes up at the crack of dawn and gets up, and for an older guy that's a very muscular back. After feeding those turtles, we see Rocky go outside getting on with his morning and what does he do? Make 5 or 6 pullups in his backyard look EASY.
As for the rest of the movie, it's pretty well put together. The movie is balanced between the stories of meeting and getting to know his new girlfriend Marie and her son, working on his relationship with Rocky Balboa, Jr., and preparing to fight a big fight with Maxon "The Line" Dixon.
Some time goes into setting up how the fight came to happen. Blame it all on a computer model!
We get worked up to see the big fight. All of Rocky's family and friends come on board to support him, importantly his son Rocky Jr. joins the home team and he's right next to Dad for the big fight, cheering him on, while girlfriend Marie cheers from the stands. Rocky's brother-in-law Pauli and Marie's son Steps are also there supporting Rocky. Rocky gives a top notch performance against heavyweight champion of the world Maxon Dixon, losing only by split decision and a hair. Marie is in his arms afterward, celebrating his victory, because for an old man to lose that closely to the heavyweight champion of the world is clearly a victory.
In the end, Rocky pays his respects to Adrian, with red roses on her grave and some choice words of appreciation to her. How sweet and nostalgic.
I'm so glad Creed has come along and breathed new life into the franchise because let's face it, it was crying out for it.