Back in September, I wrote a post about how Stallone was really pushing his luck when the details filtered out regarding his new project, another Rambo sequel that had him hunting down a genetically altered beast. I felt that Stallone, who spent the better part of a decade exiled to movie star jail, was pissing away all of the good will he had built with audiences with his surprisingly good sequels to his big 80's properties with 2006's Rocky Balboa and 2007's Rambo.
In particular, I was impressed with Rocky Balboa because it really served as an excellent final chapter for the character, and ended the series on a much better note then the horrible Rocky V had attempted to do back in 1990. Stallone's film, which he wrote and directed, really understood the character and told a story not just about a washed up boxer, but about aging, about dreaming, and about still finding a sense of self-worth long have you've left the spotlight. Instead of being corny and heavy handed, the movie instead was nostalgic, sentimental and had a lot of heart. It really served as an apology for the string of Rocky sequels that seemed to forget what made the original so memorable and such a beloved movie; and, above all, it really was fitting final chapter.
Despite pulling that off, and giving audiences a great farewell to the character of Rocky, Stallone has decided, insanely, to make a Rocky VII. When he wrapped production on Rocky Balboa in 2006, Stallone made it clear that this was the final installment. "They talk about making Son of Rocky and all that, but no. I can't go any further with that. It's a miracle it got made, I'm just so grateful it got financed. It's my finest moment, I'm so happy with it." And now he's gonna try and milk that cow again.
He was recently quoted talking about the film, and it seems that perhaps he hasn't seen Rocky Balboa, because all of his quotes about Rocky VII, seem to be describing Rocky Balboa. He told a German television station that he wants to make Rocky VII and that "I know I'll probably make a fool of myself if I make another Rocky film after turning 60. I also know there's gonna be a lot of criticism. Even my wife says 'Don't do it. You're embarrassing the kids.' But I told her, 'If I don't try I'll be a real unhappy man.'" Stallone went on to say, "I know it's ludicrous and everyone would laugh. I would laugh about it. But I also know that I'd be successful if I can make this film about becoming older, not about boxing but about myself."
Uh, wasn't that what Rocky Balboa was about? Seemed to me that was exactly what made the previous film so satisfying and such a fitting last waltz for Rocky. People did laugh when they heard you were gonna make a sixth entry to the series and there was a lot of criticism. And despite all of that, against the long odds, you made a good film that instead of being embarrassing was a great gift for the fans of the series. Please, don't push your luck again, the story is told and it's done. Sly, I beg you, just say no.