Film Review: Rocky Balboa

by Pat Johnson

If you're reading this review, then you have all the idle curiosity needed to rent it on DVD. Either you remember one of the previous movies fondly or you just read everything we publish (hi mom). So let me just state up front that this film is better than it has any right to be. Here's the lowdown:
-It's part VI and Stallone himself wanted to kill Rocky off in part V (the studio wouldn't let him.)
-The only big name actor has become a tired cliché.
-The cliché is writing and directing this movie.
It's hard to look at these ingredients and conclude that the movie is worth watching, but it is. Most of the formula you know already. It's a sports movie. However it does deviate in its treatment of Rocky. He's an old man now, and he is far more complicated than he was in parts II-IV. Stallone does a fantastic job of playing the passionate, but somewhat dim, boxing legend. And this film's real accomplishment is that it gives Rocky a send off. Unquestionably, Rocky Balboa is a great character and the Hollywood model of bleeding franchises into embarrassment rarely lets icons go out on a high note. And that's the only reason you should need to see this film: It's the celebration of a legend and the man behind it.

8 pieces of bruised meat slabs (out of 11)