A good friend of mine (who happens to be the self-proclaimed "biggest Rocky fan ever") asked me what I thought about Rocky Balboa without giving anything away. I told him, "If you absolutely adore the original Rocky, then you will not be disappointed with Rocky Balboa." And that's it in a nutshell -- the sixth (and final) installment in Sylvester Stallone's Rocky franchise doesn't try to to be the best, and it certainly isn't the worst. It just is.

Amazingly, it's been thirty years since Rocky first entered our hearts and souls, seemingly coming from nowhere to win film's top prize: Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Like the film and its star, Rocky Balboa (the character) was basically a nobody -- just a local boxer from the streets of Philadelphia who barely got by in life earning a living working in a meat factory, as well as collecting debts for a loan shark. However, he's given the chance of a lifetime when the heavyweight champ of the world, Apollo Creed, comes to Philly to find a local boxer to fight him for the belt as part of a publicity stunt. Somewhere in between, Rocky falls in love with a girl from the pet shop, Adrian, and it's their relationship that helps define him as a man. With her in his corner, no matter what the outcome, he cannot lose. And it remains that way for years -- through fight after fight, sequel after sequel -- Rocky and Adrian, a love that heals all wounds. But then it happens, and Rocky is dealt a punch he cannot dodge or recover from ...