Friday, January 12, 2007

ROCKY BALBOA - the man, the legend

This review is posted by guest reviewer, Nik, who can usually be found here.

Many of you have doubts. I know you think this franchise is over. You're wondering how he can pull it off at 50-something. You've been hurt by jibes about Rocky in a zimmer-frame. You've lost faith. But my friends, it's not about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit, and still keep moving forward.

He used to be the plucky underdog from the mean streets of the big city. But he took on the champ and he beat him. He used to fight for America, but single-handedly ended the cold war. And now he's fighting age itself. Is he doing it for Adrian? Is he doing it to win the admiration of his prodigal son? No. He's doing it because fighters fight - because he's the Italian Stallion, the people's champion - and he has something to prove to the arrogant Champ, Mason Dixon: that the last thing to age on somebody is their heart.

My friends, it sounds cheesy. Hell it damn well IS cheesy. But I challenge you to sit through this movie and not have broad stripes and white stars pumping through your veins by the end. He challenges ageism and commercialism in sport. He tells us to be ourselves no matter what. He teaches his whiny son a lesson in fighting back when life knocks you down. He takes a kid from the mean streets and teaches him how to love. His genuflection and biblical references before getting into the ring leave us in no doubt that he's down with Jesus. And his big punches hit so hard, they rattle the Champ's ancestors, and teach him a lesson in pride and self-respect. The only type of respect that means a damn in this world.

This film is a love story. Not in weepy nostalgia for Adrian. Not for Rocky or his family or his washed out friends. Not for the city, or for the sport. But for the flag of the United States of America - and for the freedom to the pursuit of happiness that that flag represents. The winner of the fight at the end - as the camera work so finely shows us - is not Mason Dixon, or indeed Rocky Balboa or his fans - the true winner is determination against the odds; pride in the face of adversity; courage in the face of defeat: the American way.

I don't care what your preconceptions are - this is the franchise back at its very best. Yes it's simple. Yes, it's formulaic and predictable. Same music, same shots, same outcomes. But friends, this is the salt of the earth, and it's not lost any of its saltiness. I'm selling you more than a franchise today, more than a movie. I'm selling you a dream. A dream of a country where people are judged not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. A dream of a nation where upward mobility and making it are the rewards of hard work, respect for others and respect for yourself. The dream of the new world.


Put a statue of this man on Ellis Island. Put some flowers on Adrian's grave. God bless Rocky Balboa, and God bless these United States of America.

To read Bina007's review, click here.

ROCKY BALBOA is on release in the US, Canada, Israel, Georgia, Australia, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Italy, Norway and Spain. It opens in the UK and Sweden on the 19th and in France, the Netherlands, Estonia and Russia on the 25th. It opens in Belgium on Jan 31st, Iceland and Venezuela on Feb 2nd and in Germany and Austria on the 9th. It opens in Singapore on March 1st, Mexica on March 2nd, Poland on March 9th, Brazil on March 16th, and Japan 21st April.

3 comments:

  1. what a borsa;vnneoivndf

    sorry i fell asleep at the keyboard,your review just has that effect.

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  2. I have to admit, Lisa has a point lmao

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  3. Jaime Ar (Tijuana, Mexico)7/2/07 6:57 PM

    I want to say that this comment is sincere according to the lessons derived from the Rocky Balboa movie. This time, the movie was once more written by Sylvester Stallone who feels that Rocky says a lot about his life: fight against the odds and conquer victory. Therefore, I think that every scene was made with heart!! When I watch the movie I realized that was true.

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