Back to Philly in this newest installment to the Rocky franchise. Sylvester Stallone and Burt Young reprise their rolls as Rocky Balboa and Rocky’s brother-in-law/co-trainer Paulie in this warm, hard hitting sequel written and directed by Sylvester Stallone.
Rocky (Stallone) is the ex-heavy weight champion become restaurant owner/manager whose life seems to be going smoothly after mourning the death of a loved one. It seems to be at least, until he watches a computer simulated match between himself and the current heavy weight champ Mason Dixon (Antonio Tarver). At first Rocky really didn’t want to have anything to do with his past, but as the movie progresses he starts feeling overcome with “stuff in the basement”, “the beast inside him”, and that beast wants out. On top of that you begin to see his relationship with his son Robert (“T.V.’s Heroes” star Milo Ventimiglia) is going through a rough patch as well. He also encounters a friend from the past (which honestly it’s been a while since I watched Rocky I) who now has a child of her own. We can’t leave out Punchy, Rocky’s dog pound pooch. He didn’t have a very big part but Rocky still talks to him as if he’s one of his friends. After speaking with Paulie, Robert, and a few new friends, Rocky decides, to everyone’s dismay, to come out of retirement for one last match and to get the beast out. He goes through his training pretty much like all the rest of the Rocky films, in a less than luxurious environment with substandard equipment. After he trains he is feeling good and ready to start trading blows with Mason Dixon (Tarver). As the movie starts its remarkable wrap-up, Rocky and his son begin to see eye to eye with one another and begin their bond that you see fade away and come back in Rocky V.
The chemistry between the characters was good. The dialog was performed almost flawlessly. The few jokes that were in the movie were done with good timing and all the actors/actresses seemed like they wanted to be there unlike some movies where the actors/actresses are there just for the check. Unless they’re just that good of an actor/actress. You never know.
The soundtrack wasn’t as good as that of Rocky III, but you do get to hear the opening theme that all the Rocky’s started off with.
For what appeared to be a closing to the ever popular series it definitely did the job of finalizing the Rocky legacy. I would rate this movie a must see for any Rocky fanatic. Also if you haven’t seen the saga Rocky I, II, III, and IV are worth the time. Rocky V is okay but not the best out of the set. But this is just my opinion.