Rocky – film review

Working class unknown Rocky Balboa gets given the chance of a lifetime; a fight against undisputed world champion Apollo Creed.

Obvious, clichéd, silly, dated, cheesy, all words I could use to describe “Rocky”, 1976’s massively popular boxing drama. So why am I forgiving, relatively speaking, of these flaws? Because I cared. Why? Perhaps it was in the small details; Rocky’s arena visit the night before the fight, the camera framing in equal measures his awe and fear.

Perhaps it was structural; the first hour is devoted to character, immersing us in Rocky’s life. So when a fight between our David and a Goliath is billed for the finale with half the run-time still to go, we are invested in the outcome – this anticipation makes for compelling viewing.

Perhaps, above all else, it is Stallone who makes the winning argument. Big-mouthed and brawny, but hinting at complexity beneath the surface. His charismatic stage presence carries the screen when the filmmaking is ropey, but his nuance at naked moments is just as important. This isn’t a knock-out picture, but it does go the distance.

A-

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s