I think the Rocky/Marie relationship worked fine as is. He clearly still thinks of her as "Little Marie" the kid, and besides he doesn't seem the type to get involved with anyone else now that he's a widower ("My wife's gone but she ain't really gone, knowwhutImean?").
I have to say with all of the raves it's receiving I was let down. I found much of the film to feel choppy and after the fight is set we're rushed to the finish (even Rocky makes a quick exit from the ring) leaving lots of character developement on the cutting room floor. It's an engaging nostalgia trip but doesn't hold a candle to earlier films in the series. There are some nice interconnecting threads between Rocky and Dixon that are never tied together that I think would of made for a better movie and led up to a more involving and exciting final fight. As it is most of the thrills to be had are because of the nostalgia factor along with a few un-intentional laughts.
I do agree that the film is rushed in places but not during the final fight. I thought it was rushed in the part of the film where Rocky decides to fight again...Stallone showed very little contemplation on Rocky's part and I thought the film could have benefitted from an extra 15 minutes in that part of the film.
The beginning and the ending were perfectly paced, I thought.
What I appreciated about the fight is that it felt like real time. I think Stallone cheated a little--the clock would drop off the screen to allow the round to go a little longer--but it felt almost like watching a real fight.
Finally saw this last night. Like many here, and for the folks I live with & around all were rolling our eyes when news was released that there was indeed ANOTHER Rocky film.
This is where positive word of mouth and positive reviews came into play; otherwise I would have missed this.
I'll cut to the chase. I LOVED Rocky Balboa. NEVER did I ever imagine saying those words.
Rocky Balboa is one of the kindest & sweetest films in a long time. Several here have mentioned getting some tears in their eyes at times and I had a few moments of mist myself. I don't think I'm old....but this film may not get the same reaction from the younger crowd? I hope I'm wrong. I kind of grew up watching the early Rocky films and remember my buddies and I always were there opening night to see Rocky 2 & 3. Went back for several encores too
This film has nostalgia for sure and I have to admit going in I wanted to like it...was really pulling for Stallone to get this one really right. I'm sure that played a part in my enjoyment. Several times in the film I got transported back to the original Rocky without the heavy handed trap that alot of films get sucked into. Nostalgia is what makes this one great but that's also part of the story.
A quote from Richard Roeper:
I think many of us have that soft spot for Stallone's Rocky and we pull for him with strong emotions. I do and certainly did last night.
Someone stated that it's Stallone's best acting ever and I have to agree. He knocked it out of the park here as well as writing AND directing a great film.
The score is a treat too. The film could've sucked but that Rocky theme is just sheer genious and always will be. The quiet theme played during softer moments is simply beautiful as well.
Rocky Balboa is a kind, sweet, nostalgic film that is also extremely well acted and directed.
What more could I add to all of the positive reviews here. Another one I guess. Fantastic movie.
I originally blistered at the thought of another Rocky movie because of Sly's track record. This was a guy who started at the same time with DeNiro and look at the paths they chose. Does he not get good offers? Does he not get the money he's looking for? Does he get bad scripts? Did he need a Scorsese?
Stallone had some great moments the first 10 years or so in his career with The Lords of Flatbush thru the Rocky trilogy, Nighthawks, Victory and First Blood. The next few years are spotty with some decent material like Cliffhanger, Daylight and Assassins but not until Cop Land does he deliver the goods.
Then we get Rocky Balboa, a true return to form. One of the best things about this movie is it's heart which is what Rocky was always about. I enjoyed how the film took it's time catching us up on the characters years after the last Rocky film. This movie didn't rest on it's laurels, it almost feels like it should stand on it's own. I love the fact that Stallone makes it a point not to make the main characters one dimensional, thay are all vital to the story. It doesn't seem like they're in it only to move the plot along, they all have their purpose, even Punchy, who gets to join Rocky in a variation of one of cinema's most endearing moments.
Just thinking about it makes me want to go back and see it again.
I finally saw this movie Tuesday evening. I thought it lived up to the hype.
LOTS of Nostalgia in this one for Rocky lovers, which I thought was great. Punching the meat carcasses, running up the steps in Philly (really cool with all the people mimmicking it in the credits too), flashbacks, all added to the film.
This one was more like a real movie than any of the others. The other films, great as they were, had much more fighting & action, and much less dialogue. This film really gives us an inside look at Rocky Balboa, the man.
The thing that really puts this one over the top for me, is the completely believable sincerity of the guy. He's just a good guy, through and through. He has pride, but not foolish pride. He is humble, caring, genuine, trustworthy, true to his family, true to his routes. He's just a great hero all around. A guy that anyone and everyone can pull for.
I also liked the way they didn't make Mason Dixon(I laugh at how corny that name is ), and cocky kid, but not a complete punk. Most of the other Rocky nemesis were much easier to hate, and you could see some good in this kid.
What else can I say? I loved the film, and it really puts some great closure to an American Hero.
10/10. I gave it an extra half point for nostalgic reasons
I have to say I absolutely loved this movie. I never thought it would live up to the hype, but it turned out to be one of the best movies I saw last year, if not THE best. One of my friends is a HUGE fan of the series and he admitted when he saw it he cried like a little girl like 4 times. ...and then so did I when I saw it. I tried to explain this to my wife who had not see any of the others prior to this... It's like Rocky is an old friend who we really love, sort of like an old buddy we grew up with.
I really like his relationship with Marie and how it worked. Stallone didn't make it seem simple or fantasy-like. The death of a spouse and the return to dating is a complicated, delicate situation and it was treated as such. I agree with others here that this movie could have used another 30 minutes. The movie moved really, really fast after the idea of an exibition fight was thought up. It seems it went from crazy idea, to the opening bell of the fight in like 20 minutes. I would have like to see that slowed down a bit.
In a movie filled with wonderful dialogue, quite possibly the coolest dialogue I've heard in a long time was Dukes speech prior to the training montage... "So what we'll be calling on is blunt force trauma... heavy duty punches that'll rattle his ancestors... let's start building some hurting bombs."
Yes, Ian, I agree. In fact, that is the only criticism I have of the film. In fact, I think Sly should have moved some of the contemplative scenes (such as the conversation with Paulie in the meat factory) to later in the film, after Rocky is approached about the idea of fighting Dixon.
Same with the commission scene...it would have had more dramatic impact to have that take place after Rocky is approached to fight Dixon.
As it is, we are faced with Rocky ginning up the desire to fight again, then BAM all of a sudden he has this amazing opportunity to fight the reigning heavyweight champion. I think it would have had more dramatic impact to have Dixon's people approach him, THEN he struggles with the issue of his age and desire to fight.
But, the movie still worked amazingly for me, and I loved every second of it.