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Rocky Balboa

Solid for 15 rounds
By TOM MEEK  |  December 19, 2006
2.5 2.5 Stars

061222_rocky_main
DEAD HORSE?: We're talking about boxing, here.
It’s been 16 years since the last Rocky, and even then, most thought of star/creator Sylvester Stallone as a has-been kicking a dead horse. But we’re talking boxing, a sport propelled by kitsch and lore. So into the ring the 60-year-old actor goes again, outdoing George Foreman’s return by nearly a decade and a half, but before the big brawl against the undefeated champion (generic, real-life boxer Antonio Tarver) there’s the Rock update: Adrian has passed (perhaps Talia Shire got tired of being a shrew in the later Rockys), and as we learned in Rocky V, the aging pugilist is of humble means and estranged from his son. Stallone, who also writes and directs, is still able to conjure the rough and earnest underdog with infectious results. And the film is surprisingly wry, especially when Burt Young as Rock’s morose brother-in-law, Paulie, is on screen. It’s no knockout, but it does go a solid, nostalgic 15 rounds.
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