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Friday, 5 January 2007

Rocky Balboa Movie Review

Rocky Balboa
MGM

Sylvester Stallone


Yes this is a review of the 6th and final installment in the Rocky saga. Rocky has been called the greatest underdog story of all time. It has been given two thumbs up by Elbert & Roeper; it has been given rave reviews and is currently 3rd in box office holiday season sales. With all of that, why would Imprint
review this movie as well? The answer to that question is how the movie is relevant to students.

Rocky Balboa is called a truly inspirational story. It is the story of a man who has had it all, lost most of it and rebuilt what he could. The film was written, directed and starred in by Sylvester Stallone. But this story is older than even that. For Stallone wrote the first Rocky story and held on to it for years. He would not sell it because no one would let him star in it. With his perseverance and determination, he held onto the script until he could play the role of Rocky.

In this film, Rocky is again the underdog. He is 53, retired, and running a restaurant. He is also widowed, and looking for something more in life. He decides to try and fight again - he is thinking something local, for charity. And yet he is given a shot at the champ.

T
his is a story of overcoming - the story of living your hopes and dreams. It is about believing in yourself and following those dreams. Rocky states: "What is it you said to the kid? The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very rough, mean place... and no matter how tough you think you are, it'll always bring you to your knees and keep you there, permanently... if you let it. You or nobody ain't never gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit... it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward... how much you can take, and keep moving forward. If you know what you're worth, go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit." And he lives that in this film.

Yet Rocky is not the only character to face this adversity in this film. Paulie, his brother-in-law, who only has his work and alcohol is laid off from his job. Rocky's son Robert has lost his way, and is trying to not live in his father's shadow. And each of these three men must deal with their grief at the loss of Adrian, who was wife, sister and mother to these three men.

Rocky must also face his aging body. In the beginning of the training sequences he
realizes that this will not be the simple battle of determination to get the body in shape. It will be in part mind over matter as he must reconquer and retrain his body to be that of a fighter.

Rocky's opponent Mason "The Line" Dixon (played by actual former heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver) does not take the fight seriously, he has the youthful disregard and disrespect for age and experience that Rocky will bring to the ring in this battle of athletes from different eras.

Rocky Balboa will motivate us to face our own challenges with perseverance and a community for support, and with hope and by prayer. The story will promote discussions about where we find our courage, what we want from life and how we can overcome loss and yet stand strong and remain faithful. It will also help us to classify what we call a victory.

Rocky is not just another boxing movie, or even just a sport movie, and it is definitely not just a squeal. It is a movie that will help you find the courage to follow your dreams and encourage you to pursue hopes.

So when the world knocks you down, you can either lay there or get up. That is what Rocky Balboa teaches us.

(First Published in Imprint 2007-01-05 as 'Final Rocky flick hits home, the heart'.)

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