Feature Article

Rocky VI: The End is Near 

by Ismael Manzano

     The apocalypse is finally here, the last sign has been spotted; they’re making another Rocky movie.  That’s right, Rocky.  That movie you watched when you were a kid and now you’re a grandfather—Rocky.  Another one.  This isn’t a misprint, you don’t need yet another change in your prescription.  I said they’re making another Rocky movie. 

     Who would have thought that those jokes from movies like Spaceballs and the TV show In Living Color would actually be true, and not so funny in retrospect?  And no, he’s not fighting in the Golden Bedpan division at his local retirement home, but the current reigning heavy weight champion

     According the newspaper the story goes as follows: A long—and yet again—retired Rocky, has—surprise—fallen on hard times and begins to fight again to make extra money.  Supposedly, they’re nobodies at first, but then he gets a chance to fight the reigning heavy weight champion.  Sound familiar?  It should.  It’s the same premise as the first movie.  Only this time, Rocky is about twice the age and, so far, there’s no word on a love interest.  That’s right, “Yo, Adrian!” is down for the final count.  Whether the actress will appear in flashbacks we have yet to know. 

     Of course everything is subject to change as they won’t start filming until the end of this year.  And I hope, that among those changes is the name of the champion, which was said to be Mason "The Line" Dixon—I’m not f’ing with you, that’s what the newspaper said. 

     So that’s it, another Rocky movie.  This one is tentatively being called Rocky Balboa

     And now that everyone’s had a moment to breathe this all in—pause for dramatic breath—I would like to say…Sly has finally lost his ever-loving, monosyllabic mind.  What the hell?  REALLY, what the hell?  Didn’t we get enough of the ‘poor Rocky’ story from part five.  Hell, even part four was kind of depressing; he was fighting for a dead man in that one for crying out loud.  Then in five he loses all his money, goes back to the streets, his woman has to support him, he trains a wannabe in Mick’s old gym, and the punk turns on him and tries to kick his aging ass on the street.  Now they’re making him even poorer, with no woman to love or support him—probably no kid either—and forcing poor Rocky to box at age sixty! 

     What the hell did Rocky ever do to us?  Why do they hate him so much that they want to continue to make movie after movie after movie of him losing more of his life and trying to recapture his youth by beating the crap out of people?   What’s the seventh one going to be about, Rocky in the retirement home, fighting the orderlies for his medication?  Or maybe Rocky wanders America, running from his painful past, until one day, he ends up in a small town and the cops there push him too far and…wait, that’s Rambo.  And by the way, now’s about the best time for a Rambo sequel.  Come on, aging Rambo in for one last romp with a machine gun and a big bow and arrow.  Hey, maybe they could do a Rambo movie where he single-handedly captures or kills Osama. 

     Back to Rocky.  Who would medically clear him to fight, at sixty—SIXTY—years old.  With a brain injury.  And semi-retarded?  Who?  And he’s not playing a younger man.  Sly is going to be sixty and he is playing a sixty year old retired, half-retarded, brain-damaged, wifeless, over-the-hill, boxer.

     But forget that question, I want to know what producers actually green-lighted this film, because I have a movie for them.  It’s about a bunny and a crack pipe, and the bunny saves the world.  Not a super bunny, not an intelligent bunny.  Just your average pet store bunny, hopping his way all over terrorism

     I see this movie ending in three possible ways.  One of which would make sense according to the factors of the movie.  One of which, would be an insult to everyone’s intelligence.  And the finally one incorporates a little of both and manages to insult us while pleasing the rabid Rocky fans and Hollywood producers at the same time. 

     They go as followed:  One, Rocky gets beaten to death in the ring.  I’d like to note here that this ending would have been perfect in Rocky V as was originally rumored, but now, at this point in Rocky’s life, getting beaten to death somehow has lost its flavor, but it still makes sense as an ending.  This makes sense because of his age in contrast with the champion’s age, his health, and his martial status.  With Adrian dead, it frees up the character to allow himself to die instead of fighting for life to make sure she’s okay.  And the audience won’t feel too bad for him because they’ll see it as he’s joining his wife and died doing what he loved the way he wanted too as opposed to if he died and left his wife starving on the streets to turn tricks for medication.  The only flaw in that is their son, but if they go that route, they’ll probably say the son moved away or that they don’t talk anymore to further the sense of release when Rocky finally bites it.

     The second possible ending is if Rocky, aging, injured, depressed, broke and possibly starving, with just the broken down equipment at Micky’s gym and household furniture to train with, defeats the reigning champion.  Even if the match was not a title match or if it was supposed to be an exhibition match, this would be stupid beyond measure.  Look, I love Rocky, and I know he’s a big hero and he’s invincible, but seriously, how insulting would it be for someone to overcome that many odds?  Even if the champ goes easy on him and lets him win out of respect or something like that, it’s still a bad ending, because both Rocky and the audience will feel cheated out of glory. 

     The third possible ending is if Rocky somehow wins the match by giving it everything he has and then dies.  It’s a little stupid, but not so much as him winning and walking away.  His death will buy back the win a little, and it will feel like he killed himself by pushing his body past its limits as opposed to someone else beating him to death like his loser friend Apollo.  It’s a very Hollywood ending and I’m sure it’ll be emotional and there’ll be powerful music in the background that’ll make everyone want to weep and they’ll probably be a montage at the end showing Rocky’s life from beginning—of part I—to the end—bloody pulp on floor.  People will probably cheer and probably won’t notice how illogical and pointless the whole movie was until they get home.  

     With all that said, am I going to see this movie?  Hell yeah, it’s friggin’ Rocky!!!  Look for it sometime late in 2006!   


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