Rocky Balboa

release year: 2006
genre: drama
viewing setting: home DVD, 3/12/12 and 2/23/09 and theater, 12/26/06

synopsis: Haunted by his past and his middle age, ex-boxer Rocky Balboa decides to give boxing one last try and prove that anyone has the right to pursue their dreams.

impressions: This was a drama first, and a boxing movie second. The main discussion anyone will have (whether in the fictional movie or in real life) will probably revolve around whether a 60-year-old man is fit to stand in the boxing ring in a pair of trunks. While the general answer to this question is "no", Stallone is in great shape for his age, even if his chest is crisscrossed with weird squiggly veins. In general, the movie does a good job of tying into elements from the other five, and it wraps up some things as well. It isn't the testosterone fest that Rocky 3 or Rocky 4 were, but it's still a good movie.

something this movie has that no other movie has: The above-mentioned weird squiggly veins. The only other time I've ever seen those was on WCW wrestling in the late 1990s, when Don Muraco got in the ring. Maybe it's something that older men get when they lift weights?

acting: Stallone is very good as an aging Rocky. Burt Young is his usual unlikeable self as Rocky's stepbrother Paulie. Real-life boxer Antonio Tarver is Rocky's young opponent, Mason Dixon, in the "exhibition" match. Milo Ventimiglia is Rocky's tie-wearing son, while Geraldine Hughes and James Francis Kelly III are a woman and her son whom Rocky befriends. Mike Tyson even shows up at ringside to have words with Mason Dixon.

final word: It's not the best of the series as far as the fighting, but it is quite good, and the series is better for having had this final chapter.

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