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Rocky Balboa


Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Geraldine Hughes, Antonio Tarver

Director: Sylvester Stallone

Pushing 60, ex-heavyweight champ Rocky (Stallone), his wife dead and his restaurant running smoothly, gets the urge to climb back in the ring.

The woman (Hughes) he's tentatively courting encourages him in this folly - 'If this is something you gotta do, you do it,' she says - his old trainer Paulie (Young) conveniently loses his job, up swells the old Rocky music (bing, bubba-bing, da-da-da-dee bing) and before you know it Rocky's matched with current champ Tarver.

'You gotta prove,' his new girlfriend tells him, 'that the last thing to age on somebody is their heart.'

Despite arthritis, calcium deficiency, lack of running speed and what look suspiciously like varicose veins, Rocky knocks himself into shape. And what is intended as an exhibition match turns, naturally, into a typical Rocky bloodbath.

'Who would have believed this was possible?' cries the ringside commentator. Well, actually no one. We've heard of ex-champs getting back into the ring in their forties, but this is ridiculous.

Stallone, who passed 60 while making this, at least looks pretty good and the old Rocky persona fits him like a boxing glove. The fighters, however, soak up more punishment here than they could ever take and still get up. As for us, we've surely had enough. Time to throw in the towel.

David Quinlan

USA 2006. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by De Luxe.
101 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 27 Jan 2007