There is one movie franchise that always pulls me in every time I watch it and will cause me to drop whatever I am doing. It will always grab my attention, my imagination and drag me by the boot straps into the story. It will take up my free time and even bleed over into time I reserved for something else. It started with a movie that people never gave a chance about a fighter that no one thought ever had a chance. The movie franchise is Rocky.
I am not going to go into the plot of each film for if you are reading this than you probably have already watched the movies and know what happens. Instead I want to talk about what I like about the character and my favorite moments of the entire franchise. The Rocky movies boast 6 movies in total starting in 1976 with Rocky and with the latest one being Rocky Balboa in 2006.
There has always been a constant theme in the Rocky movies. One that has consistently be worked into the story and made believable, no matter how successful Rocky is. Every film will see Rocky as an underdog in some way, shape or form. In the first movie he was a nobody who was fighting the champ, in the second movie he was an underdog in life outside of boxing as he struggled to find work, in the third film he was an underdog due to going soft and losing his edge, in the fourth film he was an underdog due to the Russians using drugs to create a super fighter, in the fifth movie he was an underdog to gain the respect and trust of his son and in the sixth movie he was an underdog to the current champion as he was way past his prime when they fought.
When Sylvester Stallone plays the Rocky character, it is something to truly see. It almost feels like he is not acting and that it is an extension of who he really is. He makes Rocky such a believable, likable and sympathetic character that you always find yourself drawn into the story and rooting for him. There is a subtly and simplicity that Stallone gives the character that is heartwarming. I can not tell you how to this day and after many, many viewings I am still on the edge of my seat during the boxing scenes of the film.
As I sit here and try to compile a list of my favorite Rocky scenes, I am finding it is a lot easier than I originally thought it would be. The first one that comes to mind is the introductions during Ivan Drago in Rocky IV in which utters the classic like “I must break you” in broken English with a Russian accent.
Another scene I really like is the scene in Rocky Balboa where he continues to seek out the chance to spend time with his son, who feels he is living in his father’s shadow. You can see Rocky reaching out to him throughout the film and when he shows up to be in his corner for the big fight, you feel Rocky’s joy.
Rocky III had the fantastic moment of Apollo Creed stepping up to train Rocky after Mickey dies and Rocky lost the World Title to Clubber Lang. It was really surreal to see the man that stood opposite of our hero and was the opponent for two movies not just stand in Rocky’s corner but also become one of his closest albeit competitive friends.
I realize I can sit here all day and find moments to write about these movies, as they are some of my favorite films of all time. Whether it is Rocky, Rocky Balboa or even the most criticized Rocky V….I love all of these movies. They imprinted themselves on my mind growing up and to this day I still get excited when I hear the familiar music and see the name “Rocky” scroll across the screen.
YO ADRIAN…………….WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!