Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a spy named Tregs who got his mitts on the script for the new Sly Stallone ROCKY flick, ROCKY BALBOA. There are light spoilers (nothing that isn't already common knowledge, though) in the review, which is very mixed. I don't really get a clear idea of the script from this review, but that in and of itself might be a critique of the script being reviewed. As a child of the '80s I have a soft spot for Stallone. I hope he pulls it through with this one. I'd love to see him on top (Not, OVER THE TOP... I said, "on top" people!) again. Enjoy the review!
Hey folks, this is Tregs here, and I had the recent privilege of reading the script for "Rocky VI" or "Rocky Balboa" –the official title. Any doubts I had about the validity of the script were instantly dashed once I had read the first few pages. Being in the writing profession, I couldn't help but groan at the glaring spelling and grammatical errors. I knew right away that the script was written by the man, Sylvester Stallone. He never claimed to be a Rhodes scholar, but he does toss around big words (not in this script) quite a bit in interviews, so I was concerned that someone didn't edit the script more closely. Who's gonna correct him anyway?
Anyway, let's get on to the script. We all knew there would be another Rocky film one day. Hollywood barely has an original thought in their collective head, so why not? Watch how many "Brokeback" copies you'll see in about 8-10 months from now. I was excited to get this copy of the script (inside friends) simply because of the 'secrecy' factor surrounding the project. Come on… any one of us could guess at the plot and its outcome and be close to accurate. This review will include SPOILERS, so if you think you're going to be treated to something new, stop reading now.
There were a few revisions to the script, so at times it seems disjointed, something I'm sure they'll fix in the editing process. The film opens up with a fight scene featuring the latest heavyweight champion, Mason "The Line" Dixon taking out another inferior opponent. The crowd is disgusted. It seems there's no one left for this man to fight and it's become tiresome (irony?). This is all written as if our ADD-riddled country is still interested in boxing. Don't get me wrong, I loved "The Contender" last year simply because it was real and bloody. But I also know why it failed.
Cut to Rocky, in a graveyard, mourning. Who's dead, you ask? Probably whoever said no to this project (see Talia Shire). Yes Adrian (that's how Sly spells it) is dead and Rocky makes periodic visits with a lawn chair to sit at her grave and talk to her. This was all probably dialogue that was supposed to be interactive until she declined involvement. He also drags Paulie along but he hates it. Surprisingly, Burt Young was available! Not only was he available, but he also gets more screen time in this film than he did in any other outing. Is this a good thing?
So Rocky owns a Philadelphia restaurant and basically every night people want to hear Apollo Creed stories. I, myself, would rather hear Mr.T stories because that was a better movie, but that's another story. Meanwhile, Rocky's son, Robert (oh no! shades of Rocky V!) is kind of embarrassed by him and keeps his distance. This puzzles me because who wouldn't want this guy for a dad?
Meanwhile, the rocket scientists at ESPN have designed a computer program that pits current fighters against the classics. After using CGI to pit Mason Dixon against the Philly slugger, 'analysts' realize they have a great fight on their hand.
Back in Philadelphia, Rocky has befriended a single mom. She has the obligatory, disgruntled son who also doesn't care for Rocky. If you've seen a movie before, you can guess how that relationship develops.
After hardly any prodding, Rocky decides to fight Dixon and re-applies for his license. There are subplots about Dixon arguing with his manager because he's too good to fight a has-been and Paulie and the meat factory (he's still there??).
Actually, the script's not as predictable as you think and I don't want to give away too much more out of fairness to the filmmakers and Mr. Stallone, a man whom I admire and respect very much. His success story in Hollywood is legendary. I will tell you this- I am going to be there on opening day exclusively because of the last shot in the film, which I won't give away. It's so good that it gave me goose bumps and made me wish that the rest of the script had lived up to its ending. Honestly, as a screenwriter myself, I don't know how I would or could have effectively revived the series. You have to be true to the franchise and basically the idiots that make up Middle America like their stories simple and spoon-fed to them. So, get ready for Dukes of Hazzard II, coming soon to push all the intelligent films out of the theater. This is Tregs, see you in 2007 (why?) when this movie comes out.