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-Rocky Balboa (PG)

by Dr. D ~

MGM, Dec. 2006, Directed by Sylvester Stallone, 102 min., Cast: Sylvester Stallone (Rocky Balboa), Burt Young (Paulie), Tony Burton (Duke), Antonio Tarver (Mason “The Line” Dixon), Geraldine Hughes (Marie), Milo Ventimiglia (Rocky Jr.), James Francis Kelly III (Steps), Pedro Lovell (Spider Rico)

We catch up to Rocky Balboa years later and find him grieving at the grave of his wife Adrian and taking in all the memorable sights from their life together.  Roc seems to be stuck in the past with little to live for in the present.

He sends his days hoping to hear from his son Rocky Jr. who is trying to get out from under the shadow of his famous father.  At night, he dutifully goes to his restaurant -“Adrian’s” and greets his customers and reminisces with them about his old fighting days.

During one his nostalgic trips to an old bar that they use to frequent, he meets up with Marie who was a young girl from his past and it seems to help him break through to the present.  He takes a liking to Marie and her son Steps and decides to help them out.  They definitely become part of his life, working for him at the restaurant.  Though the relationship is never clearly defined, they seem to become part of his family along with Paulie and Rocky Jr.

Rocky finally decides that he is not done with life and would like to do the one thing that he was always good at and gave him purpose–fighting.  Nothing major of course, maybe just a few ‘local’ fights.  At the same time, a TV sports show features a simulated fight between the two-time champion of the past- Rocky Balboa and the present heavy weight champion- Mason Dixon.  Rocky wins of course, and it starts all sorts of speculation about what a real fight between the two might have been like if Rocky was still in his prime.

The managers of Dixon approach Rocky and talk him into fighting an exhibition fight with the present champ.  Everyone tries to talk Roc out of it and bring him to his senses.  However, Rocky finds hope and life itself in the old process of training.  The training scenes and the fight itself are pure nostalgia and a throw back to Rocky I.

At the fight, none of the sports experts give Rocky much of a chance of even surviving the first round.  You hope that the ‘old man’ doesn’t get hurt and comes away with his respect intact.  Mean while, they have also shown you some scenes from the life of the young champion Mason Dixon and you hope that he ends up respecting the ‘old man’ in the end without being totally humiliated.  As the fight progresses, you find yourself yelling and cheering for Rocky along with the crowd.  You know how it’s basically going to end, but it’s a trip down memory lane and you are happy to be there once more.

Religious content:

The need for purpose in life is an underlying theme in this movie.  The loss of the love of his life-Adrian, has caused Rocky to put his life on hold.  As he reaches out to other people like Marie and her son, he finds his faith and finds reasons for living once more.  He is seen praying and reading the Bible before the fight, it seems natural and uncontrived.  Zechariah 4:6 seems to be appropriate for an old washed up fighter- he is definitely going to need some help: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty.”   Later, Marie shouts out a scripture to encourage Roc during a low point in the fight.  The movie ends with Rocky praying and talking to Adrian at her grave site once more.  But this time there is a new spring in Rocky’s step.  He seems to be ready to take on life once more.


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1 Response to -Rocky Balboa (PG)

  1. paulo

    Rocky Balboa é filme para toda a familia…

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