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Rocky V (1990)

DVD Cover (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Reissue)
Movie Connections:
Rocky
> Rocky (1976)
> Rocky II (1979)
> Rocky III (1982)
> Rocky IV (1985)
> Rocky V (1990)
> Rocky Balboa (2006)
> Rocky XXX: A Parody Thriller (2011)
> Creed (2015)
> Creed II (2018)
Genres:
Boxing, Drama, Melodrama, Sports Drama
Director:
John G. Avildsen John G. Avildsen
Starring:
Sylvester Stallone Sylvester Stallone
Talia Shire Talia Shire
Burt Young Burt Young
Sage Stallone Sage Stallone
Burgess Meredith Burgess Meredith

6.4 / 10 - 6 votes

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Review by Nirrad
Added: January 29, 2009
For some strange reason, I was really in the mood to watch a Rocky movie the other night, and I figured I might as well watch the fifth one again so that I could finally finish reviewing the series. For the most part, "Rocky V" gets trashed from most of the fans and critics. They say that it's just downright terrible, and one of the worst movies Sly has been in. Before I even watched "Rocky V" I have been pretty much brainwashed into thinking that this movie would suck. I even said "Rocky V" is the worst out of the series without even seeing the movie. After watching the movie, I have come to a realization that most people bash this movie just because it's the thing to do. They have jumped onto the bandwagon as far as I'm concerned, and I'm willing to bet that most people actually didn't mind it deep down inside, but trash it because it's the "popular" thing to do. Now, "Rocky V" is not amazing by any means, but I'll tell you why I like it.

"Rocky V" starts right after the events of "Rocky IV". Rocky (Stallone) has just fought the fight of his life, and plans to return home as a legend. Although because of the sheer power of Ivan Drago, Rocky begins to shake uncontrollably and starts having what appear to be migraines. On his way home, he is greeted with a band playing his theme song, which in the world of Rocky doesn't make and sense, and his son (Sage Stallone) who has magically aged 4 years in a span of maybe a week or two. Immediately during a press conference, a boxing manager George Washington Duke (Richard Gant) wants Balboa to fight his boxer. Rocky declines and is later forced to retire because of his brain injuries from his fight With Drago. When they return home, they find out that they have lost all of their money due to a mistake from Paulie (Burt Young) and their accountant. Because of this, Rocky and his family are forced to move back to Philadelphia where Rocky started.

Meanwhile a young boxer Tommy (Tommy Morrison) asks Rocky to help train him. After bugging Balboa, he finally agrees and begins training and managing this young fighter. Tommy starts fighting to the top, winning all of his fights, but the press just labels him as Rocky's puppet. Meanwhile Rocky's son is having problems at his new school, and is beginning to hate his dad because he doesn't get enough attention from him. Tommy is also annoyed by the fact that Balboa has yet to grant him a title match after all these fights, so he falls into the hands of the evil Duke. Tommy is eventually given a title match, and wins. Unfortunately for him, during the press conference he gets bashed from promoters and the press saying that the fight was easy and that he doesn't deserve it. They say that he will never be like Balboa. Tommy is enraged that he is stuck in Rocky's shadow and challenges Rocky to a match. After a few words are exchanged, they take the fight to the streets where they both beat the living hell out of each other in what I must say quite an entertaining, albeit unrealistic fight.

I personally really enjoy this movie. I find it touching, grim and overall downright entertaining. You can tell that they wanted to go back to the roots with this movie as it no longer seems like some big commercial movie like what III and IV had to offer. They even got the same director as the first movie to come back and finish the series. This movie is all about the life of Rocky rather than the fights like the two films prior, and I respect that. I actually found his life more interesting anyways. I would have to say that the main reason people hate this is because Rocky doesn't box in it. Big deal, we have five other movies where he boxes. Hell, he pretty much boxes throughout the forth movie. Besides, we have a nice street fight in the end that is probably more realistic than some of the fights found on the previous movies.

Another reason why people don't like it is probably because Rocky is back where he started, in the slums. Now, I do understand that this wouldn't happen so drastically in real life, but this is a movie and I find it interesting to see Rocky back in the slums and try to find a way back to the top. In fact, having Rocky training is a brilliant idea. I had no problems watching Rocky teach Tommy the same moves that Mickey taught Rocky. I considered it a new beginning, and that's exactly what this series needed. Where else could the story have gone after the fight with Drago? Another title shot? Please. But I will agree with everyone that Tommy is simply not that interesting of a character. I can understand that they wanted to have a young character fall under the pressure of the boxing business, but they really didn't do a great job with it. In fact, it all seems too sudden.

Don't even get me started with the music. For the most part, I can't stand rap. It all sounds the same to me and I wish death to most rappers out there. They took a great song found in the earlier movies, and ruined it but turning it into a cheesy rap theme. I'm talking about the song that the group of friends sings on the corner. Yeah, Tristan knows what I'm talking about. Apparently there's a directors cut that completely cuts out the terrible rap music. I must find this. I also didn't care for the side story involving Rocky's son and his problems at school, and with Rocky himself. I'm watching this movie for Rocky, not his uninteresting son. As far as I'm concerned, Rocky Jr. (yes that's his name) should respect the fact that his father needs to provide for his family some way. But for some of you Grindhouse fans out there, you might actually enjoy seeing Sage at such a young age. I personally don't give a damn.

Besides a few characters, side stories and the music, I really enjoyed this movie. I thought it was the perfect length, and while sort of sad, it was a great way to end the series at the time. Sure the movie falls apart a bit after 45 minutes into the film, but it's still great in my book. This movie is by far better than "Rocky III" and has more heart than both III and IV. I want you to tell me one bad thing about the first 30 minutes of this film. Seriously, I want to hear it. The scene with Rocky entering the gym is simply brilliant and may even bring a tear to your eye. Now if only the whole movie was like that, then this movie would have fared better. But to tell you the truth, I'm actually glad that most people hate this, including Sly himself. Because this movie bombed, we were treated to the greatness of "Rocky Balboa" 26 years later. That is the only reason why I'm glad this movie didn't perform as well as it could have. I urge you to give this movie a second chance, ignore the fact that Rocky doesn't box, ignore some of the bad dialogue, and ignore the dull antagonist. That may seem like a lot, but there is still a great movie to be found here. You just need to think for yourself and quit following the herd you bunch of sheep.

8/10.
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Rocky III Rocky IV Rocky Balboa Rocky Rocky II
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Tristan #1: Tristan - added 01/29/2009, 10:23 PM
It's about effing time.
Crispy #2: Crispy - added 01/29/2009, 10:26 PM
Fucking took you long enough
Nirrad #3: Nirrad - added 01/29/2009, 10:29 PM
Meh, got sidetracked by some Argento movies.
Shakes #4: Shakes - added 02/18/2009, 05:07 PM
..this is a joke, right?

...Right? whew. for a second i thought you were serious. i feel comforted now. 0.5/10

the good old point-five is for the scene where that dumbass dude takes a full swing, and totally misses his opponent who falls down like a bitch. that shit was golden.
Chad #5: Chad - added 06/12/2009, 10:09 AM
Excellent movie, no doubt about it. I agree with the review, 8/10 sounds about right.
Crispy #6: Crispy - added 09/05/2009, 11:53 PM
Just watched this not long ago with the family. Doesn't warrant anywhere near the hatred it gets.
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