Creed III (2023)

The Rocky series remains one of the arguably most interesting film franchises in Hollywood history. From its New Hollywood beginnings and earning acclaim for Sylvester Stallone on the back of his well-deserved Oscar for writing to evolving into pastiche in the 80s, descending into obscurity, experiencing a brief revival and eventually coming back under the refurbished guise of the Creed legacy subseries, it is a veritable goldmine for popculture historians and aficionados of earnest drama. Yet, as diverse thematically and tonally as it has been, the series had always been underpinned by one constant factor – the involvement of one Sylvester Stallone who wrote, directed and/or starred in most of them. And even – as was the case with Creed – in cases where Ryan Coogler did the writing and directing and the narrative focus was shifted away from Rocky, Stallone’s character was still instrumental to the development of the story and remained inseparable from the film’s overall success.  

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Rocky Balboa: An Unlikely Role Model for Men

If you ask any young boy who he wants to be when he grows up, you will hear ‘an astronaut’, ‘a rocket scientist’, ‘a professional footballer’, ‘a pilot’. I suppose a correction for Gen-Alpha should be made by adding ‘a youtuber’ and ‘an influencer’ to the pool of answers, but the general theme surrounding the answers to such a fundamental question is achievement. Boys are told to succeed from the minute they become mobile. “Sure, you can do it”, they hear when they are about to take their first steps. “You’re a real champ. you’re are real pro, Billy”, a boy will hear after kicking a ball, and it doesn’t matter if he’s really showing promise or not. What matters is setting little Billy on a path to success. Now Billy knows he not only wants to be an astronaut or a pro wrestler, but he is convinced it is an achievable goal.

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