Film Friday: Rocky

Our past couple of Film Friday posts have been covering pretty recent films, but for this week's I decided to throw it back to a classic: Rocky! Released in 1976, the film became a sleeper hit and went on to win 3 Academy Awards, including one for Best Picture. The film also went on to spawn a whole series consisting of 6 more films with the most recent being the successful spin-off Creed in 2015. When I think of inspirational or motivational films, one of the first ones that pops into my head is Rocky, so why not feature it this week?

Rocky tells the fictional story of Rocky Balboa, a struggling small-time, Italian-American boxer who gets a shot at fighting heavyweight champion Apollo Creed. Balboa sees this rare opportunity as his only chance at the big time, putting everything he's got into the legendary match.

Rocky is a classic example of the rags to riches, American Dream story. Rocky Balboa is small time boxer who works at a meat warehouse and as a debt locator for a loan shark. His life was far from easy, with very limited means. Nevertheless, Rocky remained a kind-hearted man and refused to give up on his dreams. Even when fighting world champion Apollo Creed, Rocky puts up a fair match and refuses to get knocked down.

With its classic underdog story, Rocky has so many takeaways. The major one that stands out the most is the message of persevering and never giving up on your dreams. Another is taking opportunities that come your way and doing the best you can; putting up a good fight. The film has so many motivational moments as well, I mean who can forget the iconic training sequence with Rocky running up the stairs?

Rocky is also a well made film. The acting is great, with Sylvester Stallone's performance shining through. The music and sound perfectly encapsulates the mood of the film, rising up with our hero's journey. The story, written by Stallone himself, not only includes the boxing but also a love story between Rocky and Adrian. The love story is done perfectly, adding tenderness and even more motivation behind the rawness of the fights.

Overall, Rocky is the classic motivational movie. Combining sports and love along with a kind and strong-willed protagonist, the film makes the audience get up on their feet and cheer Rocky on. Maybe it is because we can all see a little bit of ourselves in Rocky, as the underdog with the all the odds stacked against him. No matter what we resonate with in the film with the most, Rocky is still a movie that continues to delight generations of audiences since its release. I would highly recommend this film for anyone. Rocky is a heartwarming movie sure to rile up all that is inside you for your own big match in life.

On the Ticket Stub Love meter, I give Rocky 5 out of 5 ticket stubs.

[Article originally published 01/03/2017]

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