Rocky Balboa – Movie Review

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“Rocky Balboring?”

_ Rocky Balboa _
Title: Rocky Balboa

Rocky Balboring? Not sure I would say that . At the same time it is pretty uneventful. And safe. If any movie plays it safe it is this one. I am not sure the reason for this film. Some people might want to know what exactly became of the fictional boxing legend. Others may like the feel good, old dog story. But serious movie fans will walk away feeling bored and unimpressed. The look and feel and sound is more like the original than any others. This was one positive aspect of the package. That and the loveable Rocky who always seems to dig down deep and make us do a little reflecting ourselves.

The story catches up with Rocky many years after his last boxing bout. He is old, sad, and from the looks of things pretty miserable. When a sports channel computer simulates a match between Rocky in his prime and current champion Mason Dixon, it stirs Rock to wonder if he still has one last round in him. This is the only real moment of the movie. Seeing someone do something, not for glory or fortune, but simply to prove to themselves they have something left to give.

If you are looking for a great comeback film or a huge boxing movie in the vein of Rocky 2-6 forget it. Most of this movie revolves around retired Rocky. You see the simple, good guy Rocky who just wants to help people out. To give back from all he has been given. He is no theologian or entrepreneur. He is simply an old boxer from Philly with a bad slur and a way with Balboa-isms. He is the poster boy for punch-drunk existence. There are many scenes with him and random characters. Just delivering speeches and trying to help out. But there is really no point to it all. We know Rocky was a decent guy. It was Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago we all hated. Not the Rock. So I am not sure what he is proving.

Rocky Balboa is rated PG for boxing violence and some language. The movie is pretty much clean of any and all offenses. It is almost after school special in its do-good-ness. The one thing I am thankful for in this film is that it didn’t try and sell us something we couldn’t believe. As slow and uneventful as most of it was, it was still believable which gave the feel good part of it even more impact. This was not a super hero Rocky. Just an old guy trying to stir up a little something inside. Or as Rocky would put it, “If you know what you’re worth, go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit”. And that we can all relate to. I give it 3 out of 5 rounds. Not a blockbuster, but a nice throwback to the original. I’m Matt Mungle
The Mungle (matt@spin180.net)(12/19/06)

“Matt is a member of the North Texas Film Critics Association (NTFCA) and hosts the weekly syndicated Indie Rock Radio Show Spin 180. Plus with his wife Cindy they do a weekly radio feature, The Mungles on Movies. For additional reviews and interview clips visit the website www.mungleshow.com”

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