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Customer Review

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Is There Really To Complain About?, April 24, 2006
This review is from: Rocky V (DVD)
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!
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