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Yo Adrian! Why we shtill making thish?
Rocky V (DVD)
Member Name: iamasadlittleboy
Rocky V (DVD)
Advantages: A good sub plot
Disadvantages: Poor main plot, poor acting
Making a return to the big screen 4 years after his previous showing in Rocky 4 (1986) Rockys life had changed but Sylvester Stallone was back as the great white hope.
Rocky V begins where the last one ended, in Russia after the fight with Ivan Drago. Funnily the film oddly predicted the rise of the Eastern block fighters in the heavyweight division, though Nikolay Valuev was actually the first Russian to hold a version of the title in the middle 00's. Rocky seemed to be confused after the battle with Drago which had seen the Russian (played by Dolph Lundgren) beaten but not before seriously damaging Rockys health.
After returning home Rocky and his wife Adrian (Talia Shire) find out their money has been squandered by an accountant put in charge by Rockys brother in law. At the same time the Don King of the series, George Washington Duke tries to lure Rocky to fight his fighter and the #1 contender Union Cane. For those that know the sport, we all know for a certainty their would be repeated battles and problems to over come before the fight comes off. The movie follows the same idea and Rocky accepts the fight before being ruled unfit to fight. The 14 years since the first Rocky movie had seen pug incurring far too much, the years of not knowing how to protect himself had seen him forced into retirement.
Broke and unable to fight the Italian Stallion was down, and as it was Sly he actually sounded punch drunk, kudos for finally acting the part. Its determined Rocky is suffering from brain damage, knew their would be a spanner in the works somewhere...shame there wasn't a version of Dancing With The Stars on back then*.
Despite the tax man forcing Rocky to sell all his possessions Rocky former trainer Mickey had given the gym to Rockys son (played by Sly's real life son) in his will. This was therefore still theirs, and with poverty on the family they all had to find jobs. Adrian and Paulie returned to their previous jobs whilst Rocky took on the roll of a Cus D'Amto type figure training the locals to box and looking for potential champions. Sadly the real life Cus had died just a few years before this movie came out.
Enter Tommy Gunn played by the future WBO heavyweight
Champion Tommy 'The Duke' Morrison. Gunn is a young and green fighter that Rocky sees a lot of potential in. Under the guiding hand of Rocky Tommy rises to the top and Rocky seems to form a father like relationship with this forming another story line. With Gunn almost adopted by Balboa Rocky own son is pushed down the order of importance and all but ignored. The story then seems to split into the two forks of family and boxing.
Balboas work with Gunn (who as you may expect knowing a real boxer plays the role) takes the role of wooden actor trying to train someone obviously out of their comfort zone who is an even worse actor than Sly. The excitement value of Rocky by this point had all but became formulaic and the turn by Gunn could be seen a mile off as the film seems to portray boxers heartless money grabbers with no loyalty. At the same time as we see Rocky devoting his time to the fighter his own sons story takes the other other route in the fork.
He begins to get involved in the bad behaviour and the family's fall from grace leaving a hole in his life. The father who had always been doting had fallen from the wealthy word champion to a near penniless and seriously injured former fighter. The problems of Rocky Junior being ignored by his father, end up escalating as he ends up being a bit of a tear away.
Although father son story is quite a touching one that could have been significantly extended it sadly lacks the build up and full capitalisation it deserves. The movie also suffers from a poor lead story with a predictable nature and as it was a Rocky movie you knew it couldn't manage realism but it spits on the concept of realistic story telling. The fact Rocky would have been around 40 and hadn't fought in 4 years (though not mentioned in the movie explicitly) was also something that sticks out.
The movie proved to be a flop with critics slaying it rather deservedly and the box office results being just as bad. The fact it took almost 20 years for the final chapter in Rocky saga to be made proved just how bad this had done. People had no interest in the main story and despite the fact it definitely helped Morrison's career it helped to destroy Rockys high standards that seemed to have dropped dramatically since the 4th movie (which was it's self a fall in quality from the first 3). Although the acting in all of the Rocky movies was...less then stellar it just seemed to fall even lower here than normal, to a really dire standard, when your 2 leads act worse than tree's you know you have a problem.
Some trivia for your buffs, the actor who played Union Cane was scheduled to fight Tommy Morrison a few weeks after the movie was to be released, the fight never actually took place due to Michael Williams (Cane) getting injured. Williams retired in 2000 with a record of 22-6 and was stopped 5 times, Morrison is still officially active though has been dogged in recent years with problems related to HIV.
The movies original ending was to see Rocky die in the street fight, though the ending that was used suggests Robert (Rocky's son) could have followed in his foot steps. Had the movie done better (it was a commercial flop) could this possibly have been Rocky 6? As it was we had to wait for Rocky Balboa for the sixth movie, and thankfully that was a much better movie.
Overall one to miss to be honest Rocky got old and the 4 years of ring rust didn't help to create a bearable movie.
*Despite being medically unfit to fight one year and having his license revoked one year. Participation on the show appeared to help Evander Holyfield regain his license.
Summary: Worth a watch for Rocky fans only...maybe