|"When you live somewhere long enough,|
you become that place"
That's just the tip of the iceberg. There's loads of development for several characters. Paulie, who usually has nothing great to say until the very end has a key moment with Rocky that shows his soft side. Milo Ventimiglia plays Robert (Rocky's son) and has his own issues to confront with living in his dad's shadow when the time came and it is handled appropriately with deep impact. Rocky also happens to run into a grownup Marie (Geraldine Hughes) from his past (in the original film) and son Steps (James Francis Kelly III). Marie too provides supporting dialog that is rich in texture and meaning when Rocky begins doubting himself in what he wanted to do. And although he could've been utilized far more than he was in final cut, long time training buddy Duke (Tony Burton) has one of the best pep-talks audiences will hear in years. It's great to see that man back, he is a dedicated man that shows he's still got a kick left in him.
Along with that are numerous references to the older films. That means whether it is minor characters, landmarks or flashbacks. There’s always something for the fans of the original to look back on and remember with nostalgia. There may be references that even the most adamant of the series may not catch because of how subtle they are. When it came to the sports aspect of the film, it was well represented. Apparently not only did Stallone and Tarver physically share their faces with their fists but they also kept the actual sounds as well. The actual amount of boxing isn't that abundant but it does payoff when the third act comes into play. Even so, with the amount of writing included to develop the characters properly, the boxing match is just the icing on the cake. The realism to this sports match was turned way up for this entry.
|God bless you Tony Burton|
The whole experience is gratifying in its own sense just to see how Rocky has changed over the years and what he's had to deal with. Even with competent camerawork that becomes randomly obnoxious at one point and memorable music that is recycled that clearly could have had additions, the final installment to the Rocky saga is a heartwarming closure due to its character driven writing and sports realism.
Points Earned --> 7:10