I had the pleasure of watching "Rocky Balboa," the newest movie in the Rocky boxing series, last week. And the fact that I found it a pleasure was quite appalling, to be honest. As the movie opened, I didn't necessarily plan on staying awake for the whole thing. And yet, despite the fact that I've only seen one other Rocky movie in my life (which I think was the first one... but it's hard to say, I was incredibly young at the time), Rocky's character began to grow on me. I can't vouch for any of the previous movies, but I found myself enjoying Rocky's simple, black and white perspective on the world, along with his say-it-like-it-is personality. He is a character who is determinedly hopeful, who seems to think that, yes, one person can change the world, one person at a time. And that, yes, everyone does deserve respect. I found these attributes rather surprising, considering it was just one in a long line of movies aimed at proving that one man was the best in the world. How delightfully pleasant to discover his humble personality instead of an ego driven machine. Even the acting was good. And I'm the first person to make fun of actors who seem to capitalize on big muscles and gruff voices. I can't really say I've ever been impressed with Sylvester Stallone in any other movie, but this performance was phenomenal.
I don't know, maybe it was simply that because I had such low standards the averageness of the film took me off guard. But I have a sneaky suspicion that this truly is a fantastic film. I'm also not quite convinced that I'd like Rocky's character in all the preceding movies, since their previews certainly never did anything for me. Nevertheless, that almost adds to the reason I like this film so much; it's enjoyable to see Rocky as a green boxer in his 20s, trying to win a girl and attain glory, and then mature into a guy who finds pleasure in the simple things, has his head on straight, and sees through the facade of fame. A very likable character, and very refreshing personality and a very excellent movie.
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