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Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone)

"Balboa Is Like Remembering The Past With Old Friends"

Rocky Balboa owns a restaurant called Adrians, named after his wife who has passed away. Rocky is old now and lives his life telling old boxing stories to his customers. His son has the unfortunate task of living in his shadow, as everywhere Rocky goes people want his autograph. A computer puts a match between Rocky and Mason, the current undefeated heavyweight champion. This match gets people talking and encourages Rocky to come out of retirement for one last time.

Rocky Balboa has many good things going for it, but it just doesn't have that one spark that the rest of the series has. For one, it isn't the best film in the series, for the other it's a perfect ending to the series and for the Rocky character. Rocky Balboa is a film that takes us back, back to that era when people were chanting that name and running up those stairs. The film feels like your sitting down with a bunch of friends and recounting the fun times you've had and places you've went. We know and love the character and it's sad to see him where he is today, with all his glory in the past. Much like the fun memories that we have, that are in the past.

Balboa feels more gritty and real then the previous films, it has that Million Dollar Baby feel. A little too real if you ask me. The climatic fight scene is short and no where near as suspenseful as one would hope for. Rocky is indeed old and past his prime, this is evident in the fight. Rocky doesn't take a beating and he doesn't give a beating either. The Rocky films were set in an obtuse reality. The fight scenes were so obvious that they would never happen in reality, one only has to watch Rocky fight Drago to know this. But that is what made the films good. The tension is all gone in the final fight because everything happens slowly and it's over sooner then one would think.

Balboa packs the most emotion since the original Rocky film. The film isn't really about boxing, or overcoming great odds, but more of Rocky's life after his success. Whereas the fifth film failed at this, Balboa succeeds with great strides. People will like this movie because it has the exact same feeling as the original. Films 2 through 5 had Rocky at the height of his fame. He was in his prime, had the title shot and has the belt. Now, much like the original where he was no one, Rocky is too old and is considered a joke in the eye of the media.

Fans of the series will not be disappointed. Much like the title character, its audience has also grown older. We are right there with Rocky remembering the good old days with Adrian. Stallone is indeed getting older and it is more evident here then ever before. He was never really a good actor, but here he manages to show some talent. Burt Young gives a good humour supporting role. Although, Everyone else attached seems to be lost. The films so called villain, Mason Dixon, is no where near any other opponent Rocky has faced. With the likes of Apollo Creed, Thunderlips, Clubberlang, Ivan Drago, hell even Tommy Gun, Dixon is the worst. The character has no qualities about him that make him stand out at all. Again, this can only be counted for the "reality" that this film is set in. If you want to see a Rocky film with a Million Dollar Baby undertone, Rocky Balboa is the film you want to see. If you walk in expecting unrealistic fights, vibrant colours and over the top villains, Rocky Balboa will disappoint.

The series was getting tiring and almost dead, Balboa is the perfect ending to it, because it has that same feeling, but at the same time manages to inject some life. Balboa features the classic training scenes and theme song and will give you goose bumps like the old days. Rocky and Stallone have finally let that beast out from within. Stallone can now feel content that the series has a proper ending and if you're the kind of person with an emotional heart, you may even shed a tear. I recommend Balboa for those who want one last match with the 'Italian Stallion'.