I had been waiting for a long time to see Rocky Balboa. I never got to see any of them at the cinema, and the promise of this final installment getting back to its roots had me excited for the last six months.
And it is true to its word. It shuns the Hollywood glitz of numbers III and IV, and is a more uplifting final page to the franchise than number V attempted. As Stallone said in an interview about the film, it is the true sequel to the original masterpiece, and the send off the iconic character deserved. Finally, we have came full circle, and the story of one of cinemas greatest heroes has now been completed.
Say what you like about Stallone (and a lot of people do), Rocky is the part he was born to play, and he has been doing so for thirty years. Sure, perhaps it is time now to hang up the gloves for good - I agree - but Stallone manages to wring so much pathos out of Balboa that he may as well have the Italian Stallion stamped on his passport. Sly is Rocky, and I think he gets an unfair rap because of it.
It's great to see Stallone back on form, and even better to see Rocky, the perennial underdog, get his dukes out for one final round on the big screen.
Now, John J....