After 16 years, we had all assumed the story and character were finished with. However Sylvester Stallone has done the impossible and is back at the age of 60, with the sixth and final instalment of arguably one of the most popular sagas of all time. Once again Stallone wrote the script and returns to the directors chair in order to finish the franchise exactly how he wants, and to lay Rocky to rest. Burt Young returns as Paulie, and boxer Antonio Tarver plays Mason “the line” Dixon. Stallone trained so hard to be in shape for the role, and choreographed the fight scene to such an intense level, that he was knocked out during a filming session.
Now running a restaurant called Adrian’s, widowed former boxer Rocky is struggling in the latter stages of his life, after wife Adrian passed 4 years ago due to cancer. Rocky is finding it hard to cope without his beloved, and his son seems to resent him, due to being known purely as “Rocky’s kid”. After a computer generated fight pits Rocky in his prime against current champion Mason “the line” Dixon, and Rocky wins, he realises how much he’s missed fighting, and feels it will fill the gap in his life. When promoters hear of this, they jump at the chance to bring the computer fight too life, and convince Rocky to fight the champ for real in an “exhibition” match. Cue the old track suit, the great music and a gruelling training montage, then come some words of wisdom from friend Marie. The fight is filmed like a real boxing match at first, and then some great effects are thrown in and the outcome is a great tribute to the original and it’s done with style.
When I initially heard about this film I was anxious, I thought Rocky V was bad enough and then at 60 Stallone announced another film. My concern was that the reputation could be ruined, going down in history as something of a joke. However to my surprise Rocky Balboa not only finishes off the series in a neat little package, it does so very well; it’s actually a great film. The plot is very good, and you can relate to Rocky no matter what your age. Stallone wrote, directed and performed very well, with some scenes proving to be very powerful and very well acted. The training and the fight scenes were all excellent, and I’m very pleased with the result of this film.