Rocky VI: Why I'm Looking Forward To Seeing This Movie

18.08.06 - By James Slater: There is no doubt about it, I will be going to see rocky VI as soon as it hits the cinema screens over here in the U.K. I won’t have any choice - to follow the ongoing story of cinema’s gutsiest ever boxer is simply an absolute must. What has Rocky been doing since the end of the previous instalment of his fascinating life story? Are the rumours surrounding the demise of his wife, Adrian true? Is “The Italian Stallion” still living in the old neighbourhood in philly? How has he got his license back to be boxing on the club circuit once again? Is long time sidekick Paulie still around? How is Balboa’s relationship with his son? Will he fight once again for the heavyweight championship? And finally, how are Rocky’s marbles?

All these questions and more will soon be answered. And quite simply, I can’t wait! I, along with millions of other people, grew up with Rocky. My first interest in boxing was down to him. His battles with Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang, Ivan Drago and yes, even Spider Rico, sent shivers down my spine. Rocky was my hero. He still is. That’s why I have to go and see for myself, as soon as possible, how the final instalment of his storied life turns out.

Things were not so great for “The Stallion” when last we saw him. Sure, he’d made peace (for the time being?) with his son, but he had been wretchedly informed that he was suffering from permanent brain damage. There’s not a lot else that could be too much worse, is there? All his money was gone - thanks to the stupidity of the man Rocky once referred to as being “like a crazy brother to me” - in Paulie.

And this necessitated a house move - from his luxurious mansion, to the run-down apartment that the very guy who had caused the need to move to begin with had kept possession of. So, without a doubt, Rocky’s fortunes had taken a huge turn for the worse.

But there was some good news. At least it was good news for a while. Rocky, unable to fight himself, took great joy in training an up and coming heavyweight from Oklahoma. Tommy Gunn became his protégé. This was fine until an unscrupulous promoter, George Washington Duke, poisoned the young puncher’s mind against him.

Then all hell broke loose, culminating in a quite bizarre street fight between the old war horse and the prospect - caused, ironically, by Gunn’s foolish idea of hitting and decking Rocky’s often troublesome pal/brother-in-law. Of course, Rocky won. He then apologised to both Adrian and his son for neglecting his family duties, went for a run up the famous steps where his statue stands, and that was the last we saw of him. Until now.

So what’s he been up to? We’ve all heard the rumours. Has “The Rock” shacked up with a new woman now that Adrian is ( allegedly ) no more? Is he still struggling financially? Does he still train fighters, and if so where - in Mickey’s old gym? By the way, how DID the cash-stricken “Italian Stallion” fix up Mighty Mick’s to such good effect so as to begin training, not only Gunn but seemingly a gym full of fighters, in the first place?

What we all want most of all though, aside from answers, is a happy ending for our celluloid hero. I can’t tell you how horrified I was when I first heard whispers claiming Rocky passes on in the latest update of his saga. Surely not? Vast numbers of cinemas with slowly leaving and severely depressed fans will be the common sight if this is indeed the case. Such an ending is not a fitting one for the pugilistic king of the silver screen. But then again, all stories have to end somewhere.

If the very end for Rocky is soon to be upon us, at least he gave us all such unforgettable moments to treasure. A million to one shot he may have been, but he made it. In the process making it possible for us to believe we could do so too. And if indeed it is time for Rocky to bite the dust, then hopefully he will go out in a blaze of glory. Regaining the title only to pass away immediately afterwards would be a spectacular finale. Or how about Rocky losing but going out on his shield, both in the ring and in life? Either way, the slugger from Philadelphia must go out with a bang and not a whimper.

If and when he does, he will be reunited with some very special people. Both Mickey and Apollo will be waiting for him. And maybe Adrian, too.

Article posted on 18.08.2006

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