A description of it would sound like a cliche from beginning to end. But Rocky isn't about a story, it's about a hero. And it's inhabited with supreme confidence by a star.
There are occasional flashes that the film may be patronizing the lower end of the blue-collar mentality, as much if not more than the characters who keep putting Rocky down on the screen. However, Avildsen is noted for creating such ambiguities.
It's Sly's droopy-eyed, hangdog/underdog that carries Rocky's tale of transformation. He's no oil painting, no blue-eyed hero. He's not supposed to make it -- and that makes us instantly connect with him.
transforms the gritty realities of economic hardship and personal desperation into a celebration of individuality and determination without sinking into mushy sentimentalism
Rocky retains its power to enthrall ... a quieter movie than some may remember.... It's worth seeing again, for what it was, before it was betrayed by it's less intelligent, testosterone-soaked progeny.