29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2001
Confused? Well, the movie itself was very well written. If you've watched the ROCKY series and truly understood it, then V's story makes sense in a linear way. The character of Rocky Balboa has come full circle, from bum to star to bum. Rocky's older now, and the boxing game is much different. After losing his riches to a crooked accountant, losing brain cells to years of repeated beatings (most notably by Ivan Drago in IV), and losing respect by a Don King-like promoter, Rocky feels every bit the loser he did back in the original ROCKY. He tries to continue living his boxing career vicariously through a new protege, with disastrous results. And although his boxing career is over, Rocky still proves he is the best there is at what he does (ala Wolverine) by returning to his street-fighting roots. Without giving away the ending of the movie, the point is that Rocky has his family, and the rest of life's troubles mean nothing when up against that fact.
So it was a well-written movie, but I personally didn't care for it all that much. Right off the bat, I hate it when the good guys get screwed. I don't mind seeing Rocky beat up, for whatever reason, but it really gets to me that after five films, he winds up in the gutter again, despite it being done realistically. Also, the soundtrack to the movie sucked big time. Rap music? For Pete's sake, what happened to "Eye of the Tiger"? What happened to Vince DiCola? And the climactic street fight wasn't corepgraphed well, I thought. It went on too long, and Rocky took beatings in thew wrong parts. When you hear that triumphant Rocky theme start to play (even if only fort a few seconds), you expect that fight to be over a few seconds later. Instead, every time it looked like Rocky won, his opponent kept jumping up like the killer in a slasher flick. And call me a sap, but I prefer an ending where the hero wins big, rather than just survives.
So, while not a great ending, it is at least a definite and plausible ending. ROCKY V may be the worst of the series, but it's still ok, and worth a viewing at least once for closure's sake. Go ahead and get the collection, you'll get 3 great movies, and two okay ones.
Fun fact: in a "rare" display of Hollywood nepotism, we find that Stallone's son can actually act. Although I will never figure out how that character manages to age so quickly. In III, he looked about 7. IV took place the day after, and he looked to be about 10. V took place soon after IV, and now he's about 14. What is Rocky feeding this kid?
32 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2005
First off I am a huge fan of the Rocky series but cannot find any reason to like this movie despite several attempts at watching it. The basic story is that while Rocky is away, bringing down communism, his corrupt accountant has squandered all of Rocky's fortune. He was able to do this because Paully convinced Rocky to sign a power of attorney.
Rocky is unable to continue fighting because he has developed brain trauma. He is also unable to do commercials because people have been looking into his past affiliation with low level mob figures.
Rocky returns to the Mickey's Gym which is now owned in his son's name. There a young hopeful boxer, Tommy Gunn, gets Rocky to be his manager. Rocky starts devoting his energies to train Tommy and also continue fighting vicariously through him. During all this Rocky has been neglecting his own son and is being taunted by a shameless promoter known as the Duke (striking resemblance to Don King).
It all plays out in the end with Rocky fighting his new protege and regaining the love and trust of his son.
This wouldn't have been too bad of a storyline but it has way too many holes. How long was Rocky in Russia for? His son ages around 10 years while he is gone. I would feel a little distant from my dad too. Rocky was always a bit punchy but when would he have ever listened to Paully for financial advice. He most certainly would have deferred to Adrian on this. Secondly the accountant would have needed Adrian's signature on everything. Adrian would have certainly started a college fund and trust for her son that no power of attorney would have been able to touch. Americans love Rocky and would have rallied around him no matter his past. Even Mike Tyson still draws interest and Rocky is a saint compared to him.
How can Rocky lose his house to back taxes? He would have easily been able to raise the funds from selling the gym and Paully's house. Why is every good fighter white and every bad fighter black? Certainly there would have been considerable residuals from previous marketing campaigns Rocky did, remember all the merchandise and commercials from Rocky III?
This movie just does not work for me. It was reported that Rocky II was written in 30 hours. I think this was written in 30 minutes. I had the entire Rocky set given to me as a gift. I sold this copy at the used movie store, still sealed, for $2 and felt I was more than fairly treated.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Well-intentioned yet hopelessly contrived, "Rocky V" (1990) earns a few points by avoiding the comic-book slickness of "Rocky IV." Unfortunately, Sylvester Stallone does a poor job establishing the Italian Stallion's bittersweet decline. The climactic street brawl works, but the family-oriented narrative goes in too many directions. At least "Rocky V" paved the way for a triumphant finale with "Rocky Balboa."
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
While many reviewers trash this film, I take a different tact. Rocky returns from Russia with apparent brain damage, and his wife Adrian forbids him to fight professionally. Compounding their problems, they have lost all their money through a blunder by brother Paulie, and they have to move back into the old rough tough neighborhood of hard knocks.
Rocky V is a story of family. How will the family pull together to survive this setback? Rocky has a pre-teen son and although he loves him like a precious gem, the Rock is distracted from his son and his relationship with him, when another fighter, Tommy Gun, (Tommy Morrison) asks Balboa to train and manage him. So Tommy Gun becomes Rocky's surrogate son and Rocky sees himself in Tommy Gun and pours all of his energy and love into developing Tommy Gun while neglecting the emotional needs of his own son. There is also tension between Adrain and Rocky, as she sees Rocky neglecting his family for one last shot of fame thorugh Tommy Gun. The scenes with Adrian are realistic and passionite, and I admire her (acting) ability to stand up to her famous husband to set his straight. She is the moral compass in his life. Witout Adrian, Rocky would be adrift at see without a rudder.
Abruptly, Tommy Gun is lured away from Rocky's teaching and guidance by a "Don King-like" charcter. Gun wins the championship and does not find his fans pleased with him, as they resent him for abandoning the man who got him to the top - Rocky Balboa. So, unrealistically, Tommy Gun initiates a street brawl with Balboa outside the neighborhood bar. It is a fight to the finish. Rocky settles his differences with Tommy Gun in a protracted physical battle.
Some highlights of the film are when Rocky goes back to Mick's gym and we view a flashback of Mick training Rocky for the Apollo Creed bout and telling Rocky how much he means to him. It is a touching scene, and Burgess Meridith is excellent in showing his passion and love for Rocky. Dittos with the scene where Adrian confronts Rocky on the street after Tommy Gun abandones him, and chastises him for losing his family for his devotion to Tommy Gun. Finally, I loved the scene where Rocky goes down to the street corner to reestablish his relationship with his estranged son. It is touching and realistic, and shows the tender heart of Rocky that we have all come to love.
As the movie closes, we are treated to scenes of all the previous Rocky movies, from the very beginning to the end. From this visual reviewal, it is apparent that this was to be the last Rocky movie. And it could have ended here on a satisfactory note, as all the key issues in the film have been resolved. However, Stallone's career did not take off as expected after he had put Rocky to rest, so in 2006, he released the final (final) Rocky movie, which by the way is a treat to watch too.
I recommend Rocky 5 as a highly entertaining movie that captures the heart of the character of Rocky and his evolving relationships with his beloved Adrian and his son.
Jim 'Konedog" Koenig
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2006
After seeing this movie, I was somewhat surprised that it is commonly referred to as the worst chapter in the "Rocky" saga. In many ways, it is actually the most profound and memorable one. I know director John Avildsen (director of the original "Rocky") was reluctant to retake his position as director, but he really outdid himself in this final chapter. The movie starts with a brief recap of Rocky's fight in the Soviet Union. (The end of "Rocky IV.") As many times before, Rocky enjoys the roaring crowds. However, he learns that this time it came with a horrible price. (Serious brain damage) When Rocky and his crew return home, they encounter the shifty George Washington Duke. (Kind of a fast talking businessman in the field.) He wants Rocky to accept a challenge from a younger boxer named Union Cane. But Rocky's injuries will not allow him to do so. A previous reviewer put it quite well when he said that: "Throughout the series, we have all heard that Rocky needs to stop fighting before. But somehow, (probably through John Avildsen's directing), we get the impression that this time, it's the real thing." I grant that it is outside plausibility how all of a sudden Rocky and his family have lost their fortune. (One annoying flaw) Well moving on, Director John Avildsen created a beautiful scene when Rocky reopens the gym and has the flashback with Mickey. (This will eventually distinguish Rocky's character.) Soon afterwards, Rocky and Tommy Gun meet. Their relationship starts nice enough, though Tommy does reveal a character flaw. (Learning to fight by punching his drunk father.) Rocky decides to train Tommy to fight in his place. Rocky now finds himself in Mickey's position. (Good.) It isn't long before Rocky pushes Tommy Gun almost to the top. This is when things start to go bad. Duke realizes that if he can't get Rocky to fight, he can probably get Rocky's new student to fight. After a not so long 'eventually,' Tommy forgets about loyalty and starts to think more of the fame and rewards. It is tempting for us to despise Tommy for this. However, we are probably hypocrites if we do. At one or more points in our lives, we were most certainly guilty of this. Despite defeating the current champion, Tommy Gun realizes that many people dislike him for abandoning Rocky. So now, Tommy decides that taking down his mentor and friend is the way to get the reputation and fame that he wants so much. (Once we start gaining, we never have enough. Another sad human flaw.) Again, we may be repulsed by this shameful act, but we probably all have 'bitten the hand that fed us' for our own selfish purposes. This leads to a bitter confrontation between Tommy Gun and the mentor that was so kind to him. In all honesty, this was really an ideal concluding chapter. Rather than just seeing Rocky in the ring AGAIN, we see him reflect moral values despite his brain damage. (Nice paradox) We also get to see him train someone; And where the final confrontation is concerned, rather than Rocky fighting an opponent we just want him to beat, there is the tragic old mentor vs the young student who showed promise. How different is this from the Obi Wan Kenobi vs Anakin scenario? (One might actually wonder if the people who made "Star Wars III" took a look at this movie.) And if we are a little sad that this fight had to take place, we should be. It's a sad reality that the protege or side kick often starts loyal and dedicated, but eventually he wants more for himself, and will eventually care more about his own advancement and be willing to betray his trainer if need be. THANK YOU JOHN AVILDSEN FOR RETURNING TO FINISH THE SERIES!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2004
this is by far one of the most underated films in the history of the world. most people dont like it because they expect it to follow the same format that the previous rocky movie's did. those people dont understand that this is the reason why its the best one of the series.rocky 5 did an outstanding job of getting the viewers to know more about rocky the man instead of rocky the boxer.complex family issues and financal diffaculty affect the once great boxer not to mention a little bit of brain damage so he is forced to move back to the ghetto. where he discovers a talented amature boxer and trains him. at a certin point rocky's own son takes a backseat to tommy gun "rocky's protege". and when the buisness of boxingturns tommy against rocky. rocky discovers what is really important. the last fight is awsome it takes place in the streets and rocky says some of the most memorable one liners ever "i didnt hear no bell one more round" do your self a favor and watch this movie.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
As a Rocky aficionado, this movie disappoints me in so many ways. It nearly tarnishes the Rocky legacy, and should simply never have been made. If it weren't for the fact that Rocky I-IV are so stupendous (with Rocky IV being simply one of the best action movies of all time), this could have really hurt Sylvester Stallone's career.
Rocky IV left us with the champ just getting through the fight of his life against Russian behemoth with hammers for fists and enough chemical enhancements to drop a horse. Not only that, but Rocky was taking on a cold-war powerhouse, an entire country, and communism as a whole. He was crazy-busy. It's a good thing he signed over power of attorney to Paulie for all those pesky multi-million dollar financial details.
Meanwhile, Adrian never double-checked the finances on her gravy train - because she was too busy harping at Rocky - and lets Paulie squander the Balboa fortune faster than MC Hammer could have. Soon Rocky has moved back into the slums of Philly, can't fight because of a brain tumor - which is not shocking at all considering his fighting style, and has been relegated to training an up-and-coming boxer named Tommy Gunn (Tommy Morrisson) in Mickey's old gym. During the training, Rocky treats Tommy like a surrogate son while neglecting his own son. Speaking of his son, this is one of my biggest problems with Rocky V.
In Rocky IV he was like six years old, a believer in Santa and the Easter Bunny, but just a few days later in Rocky V he's damn-near growing a mustache. Either there is a huge plot hole, or the kid's part werewolf.
Exactly how long was Rocky in Russia?
Much like her son, Adrian (Talia Shire) is also a horrible character. She once again seems to hate the fact that Rocky is a boxer, telling him that he can't win, that he's washed up, that he's going to die - just like she has done in seemingly every previous Rocky movie. She sure doesn't seem to be bothered by the furs, the fancy cars, the means to buy someone a robot, the jewelry, her ginormous house, or her plastic surgery throughout the years.
She's yet again the Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars, the Zander Barcalow from Starship Troopers - the character who doesn't help the movie's plot, and creates forced sexual drama or a love triangle where it is not needed or wanted. In fact, I think we can all blame Adrian's character for creating the "pointless love interest in an otherwise great sports movie"-niche. She essentially caused Barbara Hershey in Hoosiers, Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham, and Barbara Hershey in The Natural.
Anyway, the story comes full circle as Rocky learns that what matters most is family and friends as he meets up with his easily influenced protégé in a knock-down, drag-out street brawl finale. Lesson learned, he walks away without a belt, but he's still the champ.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2005
5 years after the dreadful but watchable Rocky IV, Stallone returned to the big screen but not the ring for another Rocky sequel.
In Rocky V, Rocky returns from the brutal fight with Ivan Drago to discover that he's being diagnosed with brain damage. With the now annoying nagging of Adrian, Rocky decides to retire once and for all. To make matters worse for the poor old slugger, he goes bankrupt after his accountant runs off with his fortunes.
Rocky returns to the streets of Philly where he takes over Mickey's old gym. There he meets a young Oklahoma fighter named Tommy Gunn. Rocky sees a conviction in the kid and decides to take him into his home and train him to become the next champ.
Cut to the chase, a loud mouthed boxing promoter named Duke, played by Richard Gant, who is a carbon copy of Don king but without the hairdo, lures young Tommy with cash and fortune and a chance at the title, something he failed to do with the stubborn and honest Rocky. Duke has plans however, and that is to bring Rocky back into the ring and the way to do that is to turn his protege against him for a fight of a lifetime (Old lion against Young lion).
The movie focuses on the corruption of the boxing commission, and Rocky's family problems: Rocky's preoccupation with Tommy leaves his son Rocky Jr, played by Stallone's real life son Sage, having to learn how to cope with street life alone, causing a near family breakup.
The movie succeeds in bringing back the grit and realism of the original Rocky thanks to the return of John G. Avildsen to the director's seat, something that Stallone disregarded in Rocky IV.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2004
I will never understand why this movie got such a bad rap. This is my second favorite after Rocky IV. I think the fact that most the movie is Tommy Gunn boxing and not Rocky himself really angered people. I thought it was great though, he actually remains retired but ends up in a street fight with the kid he makes into a contender. It's a great storyline as well between Rocky betraying his son in a way and Tommy Gunn betraying Rocky. If you've avoided this movie just because of what you've heard then see it for yourself, you might just find out how wrong what you heard is.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2012
I never understood why people down this movie so much they apparently wanted Rocky to die in this and he didnt.Well he didnt die in Rocky Balboa either so what the hell is the difference,now i love every single Rocky but i do love this one as well.I thought it was incredibly well acted,great story and i happen to love the fact that he switched it up and didnt fight in the ring.I thought it was very different and i enjoyed it.I happen to love this movie and i dont care what anyone thinks.It just catches alot of flack for the reason he didnt die and it was depressing.Its a drama people its supposed to be a little depressing and i dont find it depressing.He still prevails and it would have SUCKED if he would have died.And while i am defending Rocky V,i have to say Balboa really capped the series on a high note.In my opinion every Rocky is a great Rocky this one included.