Sunday, June 01, 2008

Movie review: Rocky Balboa

I liked this better than I expected to. For those who remember the triumphant feeling of the original Rocky, this brings it all back, with self-deprecating humor.

Little Marie has grown to a single mom with a too-tough son. Rocky takes a shine to the family, inviting them into his restaurant and his life, as an emotional replacement for his distant son and deceased wife. I gotta say, ol' Rock's looking a little rough and thick around the middle thirty years later, but he still has the shoulders and arms of a boxer.

In a parallel story heavyweight champ Mason Dixon (yes, really) has defended his title against creampuffs who have never really given him a run for his money. He's got the glitter, the cash and the fame, but no real dignity.

When ESPN runs a simulated computer boxing match against Rocky in his prime vs. Dixon, Rocky wins by a knockout. This prompts the inevitable exhibition match.

No one really supports Rocky's return from retirement, including the Philadelphia Boxing Commission, but return he does, with requisite training montage.

The first few bouts of the match and training sequences are painful, as we watch the heavy, sluggish ex-champ go through his paces. It goes without saying that the movie ends feel-good.

I'm surprised to say I enjoyed this movie, and might watch it again sometime.

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