Rocky Balboa - Preview
Preview by Jack Foley
AS DIFFICULT as it may be to believe, Sylvester Stallone is heading back into the ring and reprising the role of Rocky Balboa for one last time.
The sixth film in the lucrative series will find the Italian Stallion stepping out of retirement and back into the ring, pitting himself against a new rival decades after his initial glory.
The title bout is made possible when a computer simulated boxing match declares Rocky Balboa the victor over current champion Mason “The Line” Dixon. Intrigued by the possibility, Balboa returns to the ring determined to ply his trade in small, regional competitions.
But promoters quickly realise the potential of staging the cyber-fight for real and appeal to Balboa to make a final stand, prompting him to weigh the mental and physical risks of a high profile exhibition match against his need to be in the ring.
It’s been 16 years since Stallone last played Rocky and a further three since he made a movie (Spy Kids 3). But as laughable as his decision seems to be to revisit a former glory, early word suggests that Rocky Balboa could even find itself in the Oscar race – much like the original film in the series way back in the ’70s.
Returning cast members include Talia Shire, as Adrian, and Burt Young, as Paulie, while keep an eye out for cameos from the likes of Mike Tyson and Frank Stallone.
Mason “The Line” Dixon, meanwhile, is played by real boxer Antonio Tarver, who won an Olympic Bronz medal and was once the Light Heavyweight Champion Of The World. Rocky Balboa marks his first foray into acting.
And filming with such a professional occasionally took its toll on Stallone, who admits to taking a few blows.
“I had to have my ears drained twice,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “Many times, I was hit with these stunning blows and just dropped.”
Whether the same fate befalls Rocky Balboa for the umpteenth time remains to be seen, but audiences should have a lot of fun finding out when the film opens in UK cinemas in January.