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Rocky Balboa

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Released:2006

Directed by: Sylvester Stallone

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Milo Ventimiglia

Certificate: 12A

 

Rocky Balboa (2006). Right, ok, let’s start at the beginning. Forgive me Father for I have sinned! Sometimes I really disgust myself but, anyway, onto the matter in hand. If your name was Mr Edam and you resided at 3 Cheesy Lane, Cheesetown, Cheeseville, worked in a cheese factory and fell into a massive vat of cheese, you would still be nowhere near as cheesy as this rubble of God-awful shit!

I was seriously overly excited when I heard Stallone was making a new Rocky film. I grew up watching these films and I’ll openly admit to anyone that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I used to watch them with my brother and straight afterwards he would put on one boxing glove, I’d stick the other one on (there was always a race to get the right hand!) and we would knock the absolute living crap out of each other, soon to be followed by the knockout blow from our Mother for wrecking the living room. Ahhh… those were the days!

It may seem unbelievable to some but the first Rocky movie actually won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1976. The story of a small-time boxer from Philadelphia who was given a shot at the big-time and grabbed it with both…erm…gloves. At the end of the first movie Rocky loses his fight with the Heavyweight Champion, Apollo Crede, but gains the respect of the watching masses and his flamboyant opponent whose first words after the bout are, “Ain’t gonna be no rematch.” Suffice to say, when Hollywood is involved and they spot the potential of a sequel, there quite obviously is “gonna be” a rematch!

The sequel (Rocky II, 1979) wasn’t too shabby at all and saw the southpaw slugger realise his dream of becoming Heavyweight Champ! This led to the immortal slurred words, “Yo, Adrian… I did it!” as he proclaimed his triumph to his wife.

The third film in the saga (Rocky III, 1982) may not be as good a ‘film’ as the first, but it’s without doubt my favourite of the lot. Rocky goes toe-to-toe with Clubber Lang, played by the iconic Mr T, who dishes up my favourite line in any of the films when he propositions Adrian:

“Hey, Woman. Hey, Woman! Listen here. Since your old man ain’t got no heart, maybe you’d like to see a real man. I bet you stay up late every night dreamin’ you had a real man, don’t ya? I’ll tell you what. Bring your pretty little self over to my apartment tonight, and I’ll show you a real man.”

Then there’s this classic from Thunderlips, played by the inimitable Hulk Hogan…

“To all my love slaves out there: Thunderlips is here. In the flesh, baby. The ultimate male versus… the ultimate meatball.”

Due to Rocky’s trainer, Mickey, having a heart-attack just before the fight, and Clubber Lang being the meanest motherfucker on the planet, Rocky gets knocked-the-fuck out! However, the inevitable rematch happens and this time Rocky wins. Surprised? Nah, me neither.

Rocky IV (1985) was a pure and utter rabble-rouser and gave us one of the best soundtracks in the history of mankind interspersed with a good (America, of course!) versus evil (Those pesky Russians!), East versus West, battle of ideologies. Needless to say, Rocky (liberty, freedom, democracy, blah, blah, blah…) wins out in the end and all is well in the garden of hyped hypocrisy. Forget the nonsense you learned in school… Rocky solved the Cold War!

“I guess what I’m trying to say is, if I can change, and you can change, EVERYBODY CAN CHANGE!”

AMERICA… FUCK YEAH!

Next up was Rocky V (1990). This little ditty is widely regarded as the worst of the franchise. I can’t talk about this ‘film’ without spitting blood, so I won’t.

Right! I’m supposed to be reviewing Rocky Balboa (2006) but, to be honest, there’s not a lot to say. Put it this way –

As I sat there watching, hoping, wrapped-up in the glorious pain of nostalgia, my eyes suddenly started to bleed; I felt nauseous, vehemently disgusted and violently betrayed. As I dipped in and out of some sort of consciousness I had horrendous hallucinations of being tied to a chair and forced to sit through a box-set of Sex and the City. Rocky has retired, he owns a restaurant, he befriends a chick, he fights the undefeated Heavyweight Champion of the World (half his age), gallantly loses and walks out of the ring for, we can only pray, the last time to cheers of, “Rocky! Rocky! Rocky!”

My last words on the matter are Rocky should probably have died at the end to give the legacy some lasting credibility but, instead… part of me died.

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