You don’t have to be the product of your environment. You don’t even have to be a product of your family name.
After some six Rocky films the question, as always, remains, how do we keep the franchise fresh? With the seventh in the franchise you had to wonder can we listen to Rocky’s inspirational quotes… again. The answer is: of course.
Being the son of globally known parent can’t be easy. The relentless pressure from the media to take up what the father (or respective parent) is doing can be unbearable. But so can trying to fit in when your heart belongs else where. The film explores both those aspects; but for the sake of the story, it does favour one more than the other. On the surface it’s an origin story, it’s a bit of a redemption story, it is actually quite a few things. The best one being that it’s a great film consistently. I worried if knowing about the previous films would become a problem while watching. It wasn’t. The story is pretty favourable with respect to the franchises’ history. They do make mention to previous moments but I imagine they were for both older fans and for those wanting more of Rocky. There are some cliche moments but I’m sure it won’t be as cliche for the typical viewer. I will say I miss the use of training montages.
Michael B. Jordan is really on the come up. Aside from the recent Fantastic Four, there hasn’t really been in a bad film. At least not one I’ve seen. His dedication to his craft is amazing. This is arguably a better performance than the one he gave in Fruitvale Station. I don’t say that as one being bad, simply put, they are both excellent performances, its hard to say which I liked more. One of his better moments have no sound, yet is so powerful in its delivery. Even though his character starts out in a shady place you root for him not so much as underdog, but for seeming going thru some sad situations. I really loved his story arc and characterization. His best and most emotional line comes in the final fight. That scene had me near tears. The limited screen time with Rashad had me wanting more. I think the two would have great chemistry on screen. Shame she didn’t have a bigger role.
Stallone has been playing Rocky for some 40+ years now and if this be his final send off, I’m okay with it. There was such a humility that he brought this time around (I’m not sure if it was always there in previous films). He’s somewhat of a man out of time both literally and figuratively. He comes off as a guy waiting for his time. I thought the extra element of his health a bit too much on the nice but I liked the contrast it created for team Rocky. Its quite amazing how much you can give a viewer beyond the surface. I hear rumblings of this being the new direction for the franchise, if that be true, the manner in which he was written was stellar. I have a great amount of respect for Stallone. His acting for the type of character he needs to be was spot on.
Relative new comer and scene stealer, Tessa Thompson, brings a lot of depth to her role. Aside from being eye candy (its hard to deny how beautiful she is), she… Its hard to sum up her performance. But I will dare to say she was one of those dream, chill girlfriends that are a level headed and very supportive(I probably insulted someone, my bad). I loved her character, I wished they used her flaw a bit more.
The cool thing about the movie is that they used real boxers. It added a level of realism. The first big fight was seemingly shot in on take. I love that. Long takes are awesome when the action inside of the take is elaborate.
We all watch movies to be entertained. But sometimes you watch a movie and it just moves you. Or the story is so good you apply it to you life in a way that is so profound, it shocks you. That happened to me and I get that in this day and age we are all rather desensitized to the one another that emotions are odd when shown. But in the case of the performance from MBJ, for me, it was hard not to connect to his reason for everything. You don’t even have to connect to it on the same level. But when you’re given a shot, a chance… at something and there’s people you reasonably look up too; its hard to not feel that pressure of being that lead that makes up the spelling error. It’s your determination to do the best you can that leads to you overcoming that fear.
The biggest upsets for me came down to editing and/or the on set supervision. When Rocky’s health begins to deteriorate, the inconsistency bothered me to no end.
Bottomline: If this film does start a new franchise, Count me in. I loved it from start to finish.
- Overall rating of the movie: 8 out of 10,
- Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
- Editing: 6 out of 10,
- Audio: 8 out of 10,
- Acting: 9 out of 10,
Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? It’s definitely worth seeing on any platform.
THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”
– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW