Monday, April 23, 2007
I finally was able to watch Rocky Balboa after agonizingly missing its theater release. All things considered, it's simply a bad movie and nothing more than Stallone's own self-indulgent nostalgia... but I loved it. It has a contrived plot, an insipid antagonist (Mason "The Line" Dixon is no Mr. T), and an ambiguous and somewhat unconvincing motivation for Rocky's return to the ring... but I would gladly watch it again. It may have been sentimental tripe on the part of Stallone, but I imagine I wasn't alone in loving every second of it. What guy wouldn't gladly indulge Stallone? Who cares if he has no real reason to get back into the ring? It's pleasure enough to see the Italian Stallion back in action even though he lumbers around the ring like a 60 year old whose make-up artists weren't able to cover that fact up.
It's no Rocky IV, of course--there really is no replacement for Apollo Creed, a juiced Russian, and Cold War tensions. I'm not sure it matters though. I was too filled with nostalgia of the old days to care about a mediocre plot. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a common sentiment. It's also interesting to note the Catholic undertones of the movie. Apparently Stallone has had a reversion experience to his Catholic faith-- the next Rambo is about a hardened atheistic Rambo undergoing conversion to Christianity in the midst of Muslims. I didn't believe it when I heard it, but JP Catholic has a connection close to Stallone that say his reversion to Catholicism is very real.