Rocky Balboa: John Bramley
EW Staff
December 05, 2006 AT 05:00 AM EST

Rocky Balboa

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG
runtime
102 minutes
Wide Release Date
12/22/06
performer
Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Tarver, Milo Ventimiglia, Burt Young
director
Sylvester Stallone
distributor
MGM, Sony Pictures Entertainment
author
Sylvester Stallone
genre
Sports, Drama, ActionAdventure

We gave it a B

Three years ago, Sylvester Stallone couldn’t pay someone to greenlight his sixth and, he assures us, final Rocky film. But after a chance meeting in Mexico on New Year’s Eve 2004 with Revolution Studios founder Joe Roth (who agreed to cofinance it) and an October 2005 regime change at MGM (which owns the Rocky rights), the Italian Stallion is back in the ring. Without Adrian by his side.

Her death, from what Rocky calls ”the woman cancer,” is a dramatic ploy to put Roc at rock bottom — where of course he was supposed to be in 1990’s Rocky V. In a plot point inspired by a staged fight between Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali, a computer also determines that Rocky in his prime would defeat the reigning champ, Mason ”The Line” Dixon (real-life titleholder Antonio Tarver), and Dixon’s manager suggests an exhibition bout. ”What they don’t understand is that Rocky’s got this beast inside, this grief, and to him it’s not a fight, it’s a purging,” says the 60-year-old star. ”This is how he’s always communicated — through anger, through physical exertion.” And — yes! — through one last training montage. ”If he can hit this man so hard that he rattles his ancestors, then he might have a chance.”

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