Rocky Balboa | Chicago Reader

Rocky Balboa

Sylvester Stallone takes the Italian Stallion around the track one more time, doing his best to recapture the sad-sack melancholy of John G. Avildsen's Rocky (1976). The current heavyweight champ (Antonio Tarver), dogged by bad press and embarrassed by a computer matchup that has him losing to the 80s Rocky, offers the 60-year-old fighter an exhibition match; the Rock, bored with retailing old stories at his Philly restaurant and stuck in the doldrums after his wife's death, accepts. As usual with Stallone's Rocky sequels, the schmaltz is unbearable, but the implausible fight is plausibly handled, and Stallone's sincere sadness at growing older makes this an unexpectedly satisfying conclusion to the series. With Burt Young. PG, 102 min.

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