There are those who agree with Rocky’s best picture win, and then there are those who find the film overrated. I will admit that I already knew the basic plot structure going in, seeing how the film has been so integrated into our culture, and I expected to love it, but I ended up feeling a tad underwhelmed.
I certainly think that there are elements in the film that do work. Director John G. Avildsen is clearly giving it his all, and I like the editing. But I think the film has two main drawbacks. One is the screenplay, which sometimes seems a bit too obvious, and at times, even confused. There’s one scene where Rocky invites Adrian into his apartment, and if I thad just seen the scene on its own without any context, I would have sworn that Rocky was up to no good.
Then there’s the performance by Sylvester Stallone, and I’m sorry, I just don’t think he’s a good actor. In almost every scene, he seems totally disinterested in what’s going on around him. Even Talia Shire, while stronger, doesn’t seem particularly nomination-worthy, (plus, her role is obviously supporting.) The only performance in the film I really liked was Burgess Meredith as Mickey, who seemed to get his character down really well.
Of course we have the famous training scene and the final fight. (And I know from experience that ‘Gonna Fly Now’ is the perfect music to work out to.) However, while I do think that the pacing works, a lot of the time, the screenplay falls flat. And while I think that Stallone definitely has his heart in the right place, and I do understand why people like it, it didn’t do that much for me.
Just to be clear, I don’t hate it. I think it does have it’s share of things that do work, and if you love the movie, good for you. I feel like the film’s only contribution was the music, but a film with music like that must be doing something right.
(I was going to give it 4 stars, but I don’t want to seem to generous with my reviews. I think 3 1/2 stars is a good rating, at least, better than what it could be.)