October 15, 2016

The Hero's Journey: Archetypes- Rocky Balboa (2006)

Rocky Balboa (2006) is the sixth Rocky film, written and directed by Sylvester Stallone. It is a continuation of Rocky's story, 16  years later. Rocky is now retired and mourning the loss of his wife, and he returns to the ring for his final fight after being inspired, having seen a computer generated boxing match between himself and current heavy weight champion, Mason Dixon.
Figure 1: Movie Poster
The Hero:
Rocky Balboa.
The Herald:
The herald is unclear and not obvious, but is embodied in some way by the sports channels that constantly update the audience throughout the film with news on what is happening in the boxing world, for example the computer fight between Dixon and Rocky, and the fact that Rocky received a licence and is taking part in the boxing exhibition.
The Mentor:
As Rocky is now old and his mentor Micky has died, he is now a mentor to himself, and he is in charge of his own training and his decisions. He no longer needs the support of anybody else and he doesn't need anyones permission or assurance to achieve what he wants to achieve. Another mentor figure would be Apollo Creeds ex manager 'Tony "Duke" Evers', who was part of the team who helped Rocky train.
The Threshold Guardian:
The threshold guardian was Rocky taking tests and being judged by a panel to see if he was fit to receive a boxing licence, and then once being denied that licence, fighting for it and proving that it was up to him how he chooses to live his life, not anyone else.
The Shapeshifter:
The shapeshifter archetype in Rocky Balboa is embodied by two people, his own son Rocky Jr, and Marie's son, Steps. Both of the characters start out as unsupporting and cold towards Rocky, insulting him and telling him he is too old. We are not clear of how they are truly feeling until the middle act where we see them make a complete change and help Rocky with his training, and support him in his last fight.
The Shadow:
The shadow in this film, although referred to as Rocky by his son Rocky Jr, is really Rocky's opponent, Mason Dixon. "Rocky's opponent, Mason Dixon is in my opinion, one of the weaker "villains" of the series as he's far more low-key and has almost no personality, which is more believable," (Brett, 2016) We do not get too much detail on Dixon's character, unlike previous opponents; Apollo Creed, Ivan Drago and Tommy Gunn, but what we do get from this character is that he is there to fight, for his own ego. When we are first introduced to him he is bragging how much he can hurt Rocky without any effort, and saying he will crush the old man.
Figure 2: Movie Still

Trickster:
The trickster, like in all Rocky films, is Paulie. Paulie is the comical character who is always making jokes, although sometimes insulting and abusive. "Paulie is the every-man, the average Joe, the guy in the crowd who in this movie is heard." (Eric, 2015) It is still comical because we feel sorry for him, because we know the character acts that way to make other people feel the same way he does, and it's all just a facade to cover up his own insecurities. "The film is triumphant in causing a bittersweet sense of nostalgia whole keeping audiences entertained" (Cameron, 2016). He also lightens up some situations, for example often throughout the film when Rocky is lost in his nostalgia and the film starts to get sad, Paulie pulls him out of it by shouting at him to 'not live in the past' and complains about having nowhere to sit. Also in the scene where he comes through Adrian's restaurant screaming and shouting at Rocky, it lightens the heavy mood that was set by the confrontation with his son.
Figure 3: Movie Still
Allies:
Rocky's allies are with him throughout the film, Marie, Steps, Paulie, Tony and although dead, Adrian. He later gains the allegiance of his son, and his home town. Also America is rooting for him, as he is the 'Italian Stallion', a legend in boxing.
The Mother:
The mother archetype in this film is Marie, although not strongly present throughout, she supports her child and also Rocky, and cares for both of them like a mother would.
The Father and the  Child:
The children again are Steps and Rocky Jr. They are naive and learn a lot through Rocky during the film, and they grow up and learn to respect him. Again in the sixth film, there are no father figures present except for Rocky. Rocky is the main father figure in the film, and even when his own child distances himself from him, he looks after Steps as though a father would and gets him a job and takes him out. Rocky and Steps are included in Rocky's team who help train him, and they are with him in the ring for his final fight when the film ends.
Maiden:
Although not a love interest, Marie is the maiden archetype in Rocky Balboa. She poses as a character who could or could not be a love interest, and Rocky comes to her aid throughout the film to support her and encourage her.



Bibliography

Rottentomatoes.com. (2016). Rocky Balboa - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes. [online] Available at: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/rocky_balboa/reviews/?type=user [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].
Rottentomatoes.com. (2016). Rocky Balboa - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes. [online] Available at: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/rocky_balboa/reviews/?page=2&type=user [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].
Rottentomatoes.com. (2016). Rocky Balboa - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes. [online] Available at: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/rocky_balboa/reviews/?page=3&type=user [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].
Figure 1: Google.co.uk. (2016). Rocky Movie Poster. [online] Available at: https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.posterduniya.com%2Fimg%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F01%2FRocky.jpg&psig=AFQjCNF9I05YudyVjH5DEncbwUSaSoY85g&ust=1476652634094792&cad=rjt [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].
Figure 2: Google.co.uk. (2016). Mason Dixon. [online] Available at: https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjZqr6T393PAhXCVBQKHeZMB38QjBwIBA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fimages-na.ssl-images-amazon.com%2Fimages%2FG%2F01%2Fdvd%2Fsony%2Frocky%2FRocky7lrg._V12312312_.jpg&psig=AFQjCNFPRIPoWo63DiYZfGEget2LpXuZug&ust=1476652965790332&cad=rjt [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].
Figure 3:Usatftw.files.wordpress.com. (2016). Rocky Balboa. [online] Available at: https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/xxx_zx55079_d_rocky_balboa_mov_1_13804577.jpg?w=1000&h=664 [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].

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