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Rocky Balboa
(2006) - Directed by Sylvester Stallone
Boxing / Drama
“What's crazy about standin' toe-to-toe sayin' 'I am?'”

Number 6 is here, and I've been pretty excited about finishing this. I finally got all the Rocky movies featured on Tubi out of the way, while Creed I and II are on Prime Video. I'm definitely gonna finish as much as I can, although depending on the outcome of the Creed's I may or may not see the third in theaters. I hear that Rocky Balboa was one of the best sequels. Is this rumor true?

The final Rocky film directed by Sylvester Stallone is a reboot centering on a depressed Rocky trying to cope with the lose of his wife, Adrian. His son is estranged and trying to make a living without being tagged as Rocky's son, and Paulie is up to his usual bull. But things look up when he befriends Marie, that girl he walked home in the first movie, now grown up with a kid. And now a new challenger wants to fight Rocky in an exhibit to prove that he's good enough to be the champ.

One thing that bothered me about past Rocky sequels was the lack of Rocky's odd but lovable personality traits, especially his childlike and kind-hearted outlook on life. This movie feeds us plenty of that, thank god. We get to see some of Rocky's old personality traits displayed once again, such as his conversation about whether or not this one dog is ugly or cute and what it's name should be. Rocky's speech about life is one of the best moments in the entire series.

Nevertheless, this is a Rocky movie. We can expect this to get formulaic. Once again, there isn't much heart-to-heart growth from the characters relating to Rocky, and our villain is even less interesting than Tommy Gunn. So while our climax is well-directed and worked around modern day spectacle and cinematography, the end result is the same. It creates this strange reverse effect where the real bulk and tension of the movie comes from Rocky's dialogue throughout the first two acts rather than in the boxing match itself. The movie works hard to create tension and drama based on Rocky's age and whether or not he can keep it up. But... let's be honest. He's ROCKY. He's gonna do it. You know it. So there's not really any tension.

Well, Rocky six is definitely something nostalgic fans will wanna see for its truth to tradition. This is both a pro and a con, but as a Rocky movie, it certainly succeeds and satisfies more than the last two did. Only half original, Rocky is not tainted by modern tropes of storytelling, and so the sportsman will likely enjoy this.

= 64/100

Sylvester Stallone's Score (4 Good vs. 1 Bad)

Rocky III: 75
The Expendables: 73
Rocky II: 73
Rocky Balboa: 64
Rocky IV: 49

Average Score: 66.8 / 5