I had never seen any of the Rocky movies until around age 25, when I saw all five of them in one week in the evenings when AMC played one each night for five nights running. And boy was Friday night disappointing. How do you top Mr. T and Ivan Drago? Apparently you don’t. For all the absurdity of the sixth movie, at least it will allow AMC to run that five night marathon again while just leaving out the fifth one.
Actually, I’m pretty sure that’s why the sixth one was entitled Rocky Balboa with no Roman numeral. It gives plausible deniability to the very existence of the fifth movie. Call it Rocky VI and it implies there’s a fifth. And no one wants to remember that movie.
But Stallone just can’t get enough of the little shorts and the giant red gloves. So even though he’s not doing another Rocky (yet), he’s going to oil up that beef jerky for another fifteen rounds plus montages in a project called Grudge Match.
But now Stallone is going to drag De Niro down with him into his narcissistic day dream of a senior citizen professionally boxing. The two will play aging boxers who climb into the ring “one last time.” Grudge Match is supposed to be a comedy, so at least they’re not trying to sell us grandpa gladiators with a straight face.
Look, Stallone is in better shape than I’ve ever been in my life. I am under no illusions that he couldn’t kick my ass. But that doesn’t mean I need to see his old man nipples one last time.