I take an unpopular leap to explore the true nature of Rocky Balboa and explore the surprisingly sinister actions of our beloved boxing hero.
In this month’s edition of Monster’s Toy Box I wanted to jump outside the box and do something outside the norm. This month, we’re going to be taking a look at the character of Rocky Balboa and discussing the evil side to the Rocky films.
Over the past few years, it’s been brought to our attention that the protagonist and hero Daniel LaRusso from the iconic ‘Karate Kid’ franchise is actually considered the villain in the modern era. With that being said, after watching through the ‘Rocky’ films once more, I became aware that the same thing could be said about Rocky Balboa in the Rocky franchise. Rocky is the villain?
After a long discussion and some careful deliberate consideration, it became apparent that our beloved hero Rocky was actually the bad guy throughout the films.
To begin, think back to the original film in which the younger and unknown “bum” gets a title shot and a chance to dethrone the current, and might I add much older, champion at the time. Not only was the Champion Apollo Creed significantly older, he was also at the end of his prime.
I know what you’re thinking, how does that make Rocky evil or a villain? But bear with me, as we’ll get into that in a moment. You see, with all of Rocky’s great intentions, comes an aura of negativity and failure. Add in the self-loathing and low self-esteem, and you can see those evil concepts began to take form. They are notions and qualities and that many fans of the franchise have a hard time recognizing.
In every single one of the Rocky films, Balboa displays signs of low self-esteem and self-doubt. Every film is about how he overcomes those adversities and his beliefs that he can’t win, only to find himself victorious in the end. However, there’s always the abandoning of his family and friends as he prepares for the fight and searches within himself for the positivity that seems to evade him.
He always ends up on top, however, making him appear angelic in the eyes of the viewers. But look closer and the real veil of evil that shadows Balboa becomes clearer.
Skip to the fourth film in which Rocky fights the decorated Russian soldier Ivan Drago, and you get a better picture of Rocky’s voluntary, or perhaps involuntary (depending on how you look at it), strange and sinister actions. Drago challenges Rocky to an exhibition bout, in which Apollo Creed decides to step in for the all too soft, Balboa. According to the third film, Creed hasn’t stepped in the ring in something like five years — ever since the secret “behind closed doors” third bout between Creed and Balboa, which Creed is said to have won.
However, Rocky being the current champ, he should have took the challenge himself instead of letting a much older, and long since removed Creed take a fight he would eventually meet his death in. And remind you, Creed had kids and a wife who he left behind, due to a fight that should have never happened.
Balboa had not only ended his supposed best friend’s career (Apollo being his toughest competitor in the ring, having won 2 of 3 bouts with Rocky), but he refused to throw in the towel (albeit at the protest of Apollo himself) during the fight with the intimidating Russian — killing his best friend right there in the ring in front of everyone.
It was almost as if Rocky saw his opportunity to get rid of his biggest competition of all time in Creed.
The fact that Apollo didn’t want Rocky to throw in the towel, is irrelevant. Why would anyone let their supposed best friend die for no good reason, no matter how much they protested? Especially when they have a family and kids to leave behind. That’s pretty much the definition of evil; killing a father and destroying a family in one fail swoop.
And that’s not all there is on Rocky either. No, there’s also the sexual predator characteristics on display by our beloved boxing hero.
In the original film, as bad as it might sound, Rocky actually forces himself upon Adrian. For one, Balboa has his friend Paulie force his too shy sister to go out with him, at his own request. Eventually, Rocky forces Adrain to go to his shit hole apartment with him, where he hangs like an ape from a pipe above his head, in a very intimidating sexual manner, making advances towards Adrian.
Uncomfortable and withstanding those advances, Rocky then being the big brute alpha male, forces Adrian to sit next to him on the couch, where he continues to make even more unwelcomed advances towards the shy and uninterested pet store clerk. Eventually Adrian and Rocky get married and have a child; whether Adrian conceded willingly or not, we’ll never know.
This brings us to some of the abandonment of family and friends issues evident throughout the films. For instance, instead of being at the hospital while his wife Adrian was in a coma (due to stress from being pregnant and overworking herself), Rocky chose to fight. Or how about when he abandoned his wife and son and went to train in a different country on the opposite side of the world in order to fight the Russian, Drago? This is the same Russian he should have fought instead of Apollo, who he chose to let die (or kill depending on how you look at it).
So, taking everything into account, this was just simply a fantastic discovery and an extremely fun subject to delve into. It was truly an eye opening look from a very different perspective. It is definitely debatable subject matter. I do feel it needs to be stated that, while I’ve come to the conclusion that Rocky is indeed evil, I still love the films and our fictional boxing icon as much as anyone else. But let’s face it…Rocky killed Apollo!