The city Rocky lives in is now your typical American urban ghetto. The locals of the city that he grew-up in are less than admirable. In a bar, Rocky encounters a young lady that is fairly fluent in Ebonics and after denied a “free drink” by rock she irrationally states, “you ain’t not better den me.” Rocky seems more disturbed by this situation than anything. He soon makes his way out of the bar with “little” Marie(her character is featured in the original Rocky film stating, "screw you, creepo"). When Rocky realizes “big” Marie now has a mulatto son, he looks a little shocked by it, and of course he attempts to downplay his reaction.
Rocky’s brother-in-law Paulie isn’t in too good of shape either. When Rocky invites Paulie to have a “special” at his restaurant he replies, “Italian food cooked up by a bunch of Mexicans ain’t so special.” Paulie’s statement reflects the feelings of most blue collar workers and seems like a direct blow to Rocky for hiring them. Essentially, Rocky Balboa shows how America, American Unity, and American communities have gone down the drain because of weakling guys like Rocky’s son.
Of course, all the negative things turn around as can be expected in a film of typical Hollywood conventions. Rocky gets back into boxing and fights a much younger boxer. One can only wonder if this is reflexive of Stallone’s own personal mid-life crisis. Rocky Balboa has various references to the original and this is appropriate as this is the last film and second best film. Sylvester Stallone found the perfect way to end the “fight your way up” American dream series.