DVD Review: Rocky Balboa

When it was announced that Sylvester Stallone was going to make a sixth Rocky film, many rolled their eyes. The fifth and “final chapter” in the Rocky series left a pretty bad taste in the mouths of even the biggest fans of the Italian Stallion.Well Mr. Stallone has proved everybody wrong and, in the process, wrapped up the story of one of the more iconic characters in American Cinema.

At the start of this film, we find Rocky living in the past. His wife has passed away and his relationship with his son is strained. He spends his time telling boxing tales at his restaurant.

When a computer simulation suggests that Rocky (In his prime) would beat the current champ, the wheels are set in motion for the aging hero return to that which made him a legend.

Stallone’s situation is not that different from that of his character. The majority of his box office success, and virtually all of his critical success, came from the Rocky series. Not only has he returned to the character, but to the very core of what made the original great. Virtually all of the sequels gave us great action and drama, but Rocky Balboa gives us more. It gives us the heart and soul of a character that became a national icon.

Is Rocky Balboa a great film? Not really, but is a film that clearly was made with love and passion. Those characteristics come across on the screen and make this solid film something special.

For extras, we have a very interesting, and enlightening, commentary by Stallone. This commentary will be really enjoyed by long-time fans of the series, as Stallone talks about his journey through the series. I must mention that Stallone says some things that suggest that a director’s cut might eventually be made available.

Also included are a number of deleted scenes including an alternate ending .These scenes are generally give us a little more insight into the characters. The scene where Paulie breaks down is outstanding. I wish it had made the final cut.