Rocky Balboa (12A)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner16/01/2007

Three out of Five stars

Ridiculous, but nonetheless enjoyable, this drags a lot for the first half but rallies for the final act with a crowd-pleasing one-two of training montage and fight sequences.

What's it all about?
Sixteen years after the events of Rocky V, Rocky (Stallone) is now a successful restaurant owner, still mourning the loss of his wife Adrien, who died four years ago. He's also struggling to reconnect with his son, Rocky Jr (played by soon-to-be-famous-for-Heroes Milo Ventimiglia), who seems embarrassed by his father's continuing fame.

There's a lot of tedious emotional stuff until about halfway through, when a computer simulation declares that of all the boxers in history, only Rocky would have stood a chance against the current undefeated heavyweight champ Mason - The Line - Dixon (Antonio Tarver). Dixon needs the publicity so he challenges Rocky to a comeback exhibition match and – surprise!- Rocky accepts.

The Good
Stallone's performance is actually pretty good and when they finally arrive, the training montage and fight sequences are everything you'd hoped for, even if Rocky does have a weirdly veiny chest that is vaguely disturbing. The end credits are rather sweet too, with members of the public running up the iconic steps and doing Rocky impressions.

The Bad
The script is packed with irritating cliches and is pretty ridiculous throughout. Apart from the sheer fact that Rocky is, let's not mince words, a pensioner, the biggest problem is that the screenplay doesn't give him a good enough reason to fight – he already has respect and he doesn't need the money or the publicity.

There's potential here for the film to be a lot better, namely by developing the supporting characters (such as Rocky Jr and Rocky's new romantic interest) but the script largely ignores them in favour of Rocky doing a big emotional speech every 15 minutes or so.

Worth seeing?
In short, the good bits just about outweigh the bad bits and Rocky fans probably won't be disappointed.

Film Trailer

Rocky Balboa (12A)
Be the first to review Rocky Balboa...
image
01 Love Me Till Monday (15)

Georgia Maguire, Sarah-Jayne Butler, Chris Leveaux...

image
02 Cycling with Moliere (tbc)

Fabrice Luchini, Lambert Wilson, Maya Sansa

image
03 The Nut Job (U)

Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson

image
04 The Equalizer (tbc)

Denzel Washington, Chloe Grace Moretz

image
05 If I Stay (12A)

Chloë Grace Moretz, Lauren Lee Smith, Mireille Eno...

Content updated: 22/07/2014 14:23

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Love Me Till Monday (15)

Georgia Maguire stars as a young woman disillusioned with the new world of work and the lack of Mr Right in her life.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films

Hot Tickets

Film 4 Summer ScreenFilm 4 Summer Screen

Taking over the big screen at Somerset House again for August 2014, the Film 4 Summer Screen series brings a variety of classics and brand new films to audiences in the capital.