"Christian Courage and Compassion"
ROCKY BALBOA is the sixth movie in the Rocky series. The story opens with Rocky (played by Sylvester Stallone) grieving the loss of his wife and struggling in a difficult relationship with his son (Milo Ventimiglia), who is living in the shadow of his famous father. Very much like the first movie, he finds himself alone and trying to find his place in the world; however, he is much wiser and has replaced the angst of his earlier films with purpose.
In a twist of fate, ESPN’s computer pits Rocky against current champ Mason Dixon (Antonio Tarver) who, despite undefeated status, has not gained the public’s respect. The computer game finds Rocky defeating Mason Dixon. This starts a chain of events that leads Rocky to decide whether or not to reenter the ring, this time at 58! He decides that he doesn’t want to enter the ring to win, but to teach himself and others the value of courage. Nothing comes easily, of course. Rocky even has to fight the boxing association to get a license, but, with true Rocky style, he shows that perseverance and dedication produce results.
Rocky continues to show altruism and the need to encourage others to be all that they were created to be. As Rocky reminisces old memories of his wife, he happens into a bar that he had hung frequented, in years past. He runs into a woman, with whom he had interacted with as a teenager. In the first movie, Rocky had walked a young girl named Marie home and warns her against gang involvement. She returned the favor with a, “Screw you, creep.” Now grown, “little Marie” (Geraldine Hughes) is a single mother living in a sketchy area of town trying to raise a teenage son. Rocky sees her fear and believes in her. The three develop a relationship that becomes mutually strengthening.
Burt Young returns in his role as Paulie, the cynical and edgy brother-in-law struggling with the death of his sister, how he treated her, and finding his own place in the world. He comes alongside Rocky to help him in his training.
Zechariah 4:6 says in effect that the victory belongs to God and the Holy Spirit through the Lord of hosts, who, of course, is Jesus Christ. ROCKY BALBOA exemplifies a strong message of perseverance, grace, courage, and compassion. As Christ called us to be encouragers of one another, the movie accurately depicts Rocky as exhibiting courage and compassion, and extending his hand to those around him, giving them the courage to be what God has created them to be.
Rocky fights against self-centeredness and self-victimization even with his son, who blames Rocky for his own feelings of inadequacy. Rocky exhorts his son, “Life is about how many hits you can take and keep moving forward. THAT is courageous.”
ROCKY BALBOA is an uplifting movie, showing real people battling real life struggles. The characters are well developed and believable. The antagonist, Mason Dixon, is not a villain, but a misguided young man searching for what matters, with Rocky being a willing teacher. The integrity and moral fiber of this movie are an inspiration. The set and shooting style fit the movie perfectly and are reminiscent of the first film. The energy in the film is engaging and the acting phenomenal throughout, with something for everyone to relate to.
(CCC, BBB, LL, VV, N, A, D, M) Very strong Christian moral worldview with overt Christian elements, victorious boxer pointing to God, Scripture verse quoted, very overt cross on trainer, working hard and persevering through trials and persecution, and pride and arrogance shown as empty, while humility and altruism are exemplified; about 15 obscenities, one strong profanity and cursing in Spanish; strong boxing violence; no sex; upper male nudity in boxing; modest drinking; cigar smoking; and, some miscellaneous immorality, mostly rebuked.
An unexpectedly great movie, ROCKY BALBOA is the sixth movie in the series. The story opens with Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) grieving the loss of his wife and struggling with his relationship with his son, who has difficulty living in the shadow of his famous father. ESPN's computer pits Rocky against current champ Mason Dixon (Antonio Tarver) who has not gained public respect. The computer finds Rocky the winner, leading to a chain of events that puts Rocky back in the ring at age 58, although he has to fight the boxing association to get a license.
Sylvester Stallone not only pulls off this incredible premise. He makes it great. ROCKY BALBOA has a wonderful message of grace, perseverance, courage, and compassion. Jesus Christ calls us to encourage one another. Rocky does so. Throughout the movie, he finds unselfish ways to encourage others. Rocky’s exhortation to his son is, “Life is about how many hits you can take and keep moving forward. That is courageous.” It's great to be able to leave a movie feeling inspired to go out and encourage someone. People need more movies like ROCKY BALBOA. It’s a knockout.