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alright, so i wasn't very happy with how my band of outsiders review was turning out, so i'm not going to do that one. if you're curious, i thought it was really good and i gave it an 84/100. instead i'm going to review rocky, in what turned out to be far longer than what i expect most of my future reviews to be.


This wasn't very good. Hating this movie requires far too much cynicism, because it's ultimately just a harmless little underdog film that probably accomplished everything it wanted to accomplish, but that doesn't mean it's good. For one thing, I didn't really like how it treated the "American Dream" as some sort of corporeal concept, rather than something metaphysical, and I find that definitive stance to be much less interesting than something that deals in more ambiguities like, to use a recent example, James Gray's The Immigrant. These movies are completely different, but I find Gray's much more interesting.

This also probably had of the worst romances I've ever seen. It starts off as some stupid opposites attract sort of thing, although it's impossible to care about because it forgets to give Adrian a personality beyond "shy." And then it gets worse, because after those one or two scenes of them building a relationship it decides to phase out what was left of her personality entirely. I really can't think of a single thing she does for the rest of the movie, besides that horribly cliche kiss at the end. It all just kind of makes that ice skating scene pretty pointless. It makes me wish they would've just given him a girlfriend from the beginning instead of spending time developing their incredibly hollow romance.

All of the characters were basically just lazy archetypes, with the possible exception of Rocky himself, I suppose. This movie is very up front with the fact that its a bunch of cliches and it fully embraces them. In an ideal world, embracing cliches would go along with maybe some sort of subversiveness or at least doing something kind of interesting with them, but there's none of that here. It was hard to even get very emotionally involved, since all of those iconic and uplifting scenes were really tonally out of place and way more awkward than they should've been. It probably could've elicited some sort of emotion towards the end if the fight scenes were shot better. I guess it gave me a greater appreciation for something like Cinderella Man, which is also full of cliches, but the fights are crafted to where you can feel every blow, to make the payoff that much sweeter.

As I said, I didn't hate this movie or anything. It's just kinda dumb.

Carl Weathers is awesome, though.