So we’ve come to the film, which introduced us to the most famous fictional boxer in the world: Rocky Balboa. Yep the film that spawned multiple sequels and has become one of the most quotable films ever with one of the most recognisable film stars. It for these reasons why I decided to watch this film. Plus, it’s one of those films where if you don’t watch it, you’ll get someone saying “HOW HAVE YOU NOT SEEN THIS FILM? IT IS AMAZING. FIX YOUR LIFE!!!”
Rocky follows the eponymous star Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) who progresses from a working-class, down on his luck, part-time boxer to one of the most famous boxers in America, when he accepts heavy-weight champion Apollo Creed’s challenge to fight a special celebration match in honour of America’s bicentennial anniversary.
The Good: Burgess Meredith. Now as a 90’s child, I am vastly ignorant and unobservant of the immense entertainment culture that has proceeded me, so the only thing I’ve seen Meredith in prior to Rocky is the Twilight Zone. Within the Twilight Zone, he plays vastly different characters to the crass boxing coach Mick who trains Rocky for his big fight. Seeing Meredith play a character like this was a very refreshing change. And of course there’s the theme tune that accompanies Rocky’s training montage, which has since become one of the most recognisable theme tunes in the world.
The bad: I’m going to come right out and say it. I didn’t like this film. I didn’t like a lot about it. Firstly, there’s the subject matter. I don’t have any interest in boxing, so this made me less interested in the film as a whole. I wasn’t able to connect with the film or with Rocky or his journey and at times I was very bored. Secondly, I really didn’t like Stallone in this. Between his shouting, his mumbling and his tendency to repeat himself, I could barely hear, let alone understand a thing he was saying, even with my speakers at full blast. I also didn’t enjoy Balboa’s relationship with Adrian, which I felt was very forced and unnatural. I didn’t think that the pair went well together. I also really hated Rocky’s friend Paulie. I don’t know why anyone would tolerate him and his alcoholic tantrums.
The ugly: Rocky’s apartment. I’ll give the set designers credit here. They did well portraying Rocky’s impoverished surroundings. From the crawling wallpaper to the tiny cot bed to the general lack of space, it was made clear that Rocky was lacking in money.
All in all, I wasn’t a fan of this film. The content matter didn’t interest me and I didn’t like Stallone. It was just lucky Burgess Meredith was in it. However, sufficed to say, I won’t be watching or reviewing the sequels. This notwithstanding, if Rocky has taught me anything, then it’s this: it’ll definitely take more than three counts to count Rocky Balboa down and out.
Thanks for reading.”