Rocky Balboa, former 2-time boxing World Champion, is coping with the loss of his beloved wife Adrian, who died several years ago. His glory days and fortune are gone; he spends his time running his Italian restaurant called Adrian's and recounting tales of his boxing career and posing for pictures with his customers.
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He tries to relive old memories with his brother-in-law Paulie, but it makes Paulie sick with grief. He is sorry that he didn't treat his sister Adrian well, so remembering her hurts him.
While visiting a bar, Rocky runs into "Little Marie," a girl he once met years ago when she was a child and insulted him. Now she is an adult with a teenage son of her own. When a group of people at the bar start heckling Rocky for not buying them a round of drinks, he fights back and forces them to apologize to Marie. Then he drives her home and finds out that she lives in poverty. She is a single mother and introduces him to her son Steps. Rocky leaves his restaurant's card on their doorstep, inviting them to come by sometime.
Eventually, he offers Steps a job at Adrian's. He spends time with Steps, even taking him to a dog pound, and letting him name his new dog. Rocky's new dog is old and ugly; Steps names him Punchy as a joke.
Meanwhile, Rocky's relationship with his own now-grown son isn't going so well. Rocky Balboa, Jr. skips out on meeting him at the restaurant, always ashamed that people compare him to his father.
Without meaning, and living life as a has-been, Rocky decides he wants to get back in the ring and fight. His son thinks it's a bad idea. Rocky goes ahead and applies for a fighting license. His intention is to fight small, local matches. The commission won't approve his license at
first because they think they're looking out for his well-being, even though he passed all the medical tests. Rocky finally convinces them to change their minds, saying that no one has a right to tell someone they can't do what they know they have to do for the pursuit of happyness.
Meanwhile, the current boxing champion is going through rough times. Mason "The Line" Dixon, although undefeated, can't draw pay-per-view crowds. He doesn't have the support of the people. After a computer simulated boxing match between him and Rocky in his prime airs on the news
declaring Rocky the winner, Dixon's agents think they've found a way to revitalize Dixon's career. The simulation sparked debate amongst newscasters and piqued public interest. They convince Dixon that an exhibition match against Rocky will benefit him.
The agents go to Rocky and offer him the match. After some
soul-searching, and discussions with Paulie and Marie, he decides to go for it. Paulie only gives his approval after his is fired from the meat-packing plant; he finally realizes that Rocky has to do this for himself.
Rocky goes through a rigorous training that works on his strengths. At his age, he has to play on powerful hits. His arthritis and knees leave littlenelse to his advantage.
In lead-up to the fight there is a press conference. No one thinks Rocky can win, or even last 2 rounds, least of all his opponent. But before the fight, Rocky finally gets his son on his side. His son tries to talk him out of it, saying that the embarassment of what people are saying is
hurting him, but Rocky thinks that his son is acting like something he's not--a coward. Since when does he care what other people think?
His son takes his words to heart. The next day he shows up at Adrian's grave saying he has quit his job because he didn't fit in with them.
Rocky goes into the fight with his son, Paulie, and Marie by his side. It almost ends after one round, but when Rocky gains an advantage over Dixon, it seems he might be able to go the distance. He lasts the 10 rounds, and Dixon learns a lesson in respect. The crowd is chanting for Rocky no
matter what the outcome of the match is.
The review of this Movie prepared by Sarah Bastin