After Rocky IV was released in 1985, Sylvester Stallone continued to work on other projects starting with “Over The Top,” “Rambo III,” “Lock Up” & “Tango & Cash.” During The 80’s, Sly was one of the highest paid actors of the decade and he remains as one of the biggest A-List stars in Hollywood. Inspired by critics and movie goers who no longer take him seriously, Sly wrote a script for a fifth installment of the Rocky franchise in an attempt to win back the crowd by revisiting the original movie’s roots. What happens if a national icon loses his fortune and he must find a way to support his family? The what-if scenario/high concept I’m referring to is none other than “Rocky V.”
Rocky V was released in 1990. Unlike the first three films, the fifth entry earned negative reviews from critics and movie goers alike. Despite negative reception, the film made money at the box office.
Many fans were disappointed at the time that Rocky V was considered to be the final installment. Sly admitted he too was disappointed with the results with how the film became a miscalculation. Sixteen Years Later, a sixth entry titled, “Rocky Balboa” made fans and critics satisfied to see a proper finale. Until a spin-off movie titled, “Creed” starring Michael B. Jordan as Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis continues his father’s legacy with the help of Rocky now taking over Mickey’s role as the mentor and passing the torch to his protege.
As you may know, Creed II is scheduled to come out during Thanksgiving week. I’ve decided to look back at each film before I prep up to see the eighth installment of the Rocky series.
The following review contains crucial SPOILERS. If you’ve never seen Rocky I-V, read at your very own risk.
Victory & Defeat Aspects
Victory: Sylvester Stallone reprises his role as The Italian Stallion. He did an outstanding job for his performance yet again.
Talia Shire (in her last Rocky film) & Burt Young both did a great job for their respective performances.
Burgess Meredith reprises his role one last time as Mickey Goldmill in a flashback scene.
In a flashback scene prior to Rocky’s rematch with Creed, Mickey gives Rocky a cufflink belonging to Rocky
John G. Avildsen returned to direct since he directed the original Rocky. He tried and did an adequate job.
The late Tommy Morrison did a fair job for his performance as Tommy Gunn. His last name is addressed in a dinner scene.
Cinematography looked ok without suffering from technical flaws.
In case you forgot, a recap of Rocky IV begins during the opening credits.
Ivan Drago appears as a hallucination. The closest thing to see Dolph Lundgren reprising his role as the man who killed Apollo.
The fifth film is based on Sly’s career & personal life. In response to Rocky IV’s Razzie wins, he decided to go back to the first film’s roots by relocating Rocky & his family back to his home after Paulie accidentally cost them millions.
Rocky jokingly mentioned that his bruised eyes looked like “Rocky Raccoon.” Sly went on to co-star in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 featuring a talking raccoon named, “Rocket.” Hilarious In Hindsight.
George Washington Duke is based on boxing promoter, Don King.
Elton John’s song, “Measure Of A Man” plays during the end credits accompanied with a slideshow of all five films. Until a sixth entry shows up. Sly is a fan of Elton, plus he’s good friends with him.
Defeat: Tommy Gunn felt way too similar to Clubber Lang. He wasn’t unique, just a carbon copy of Mr. T.
I hate to break it to ya fellas, Rocky ends up as a workaholic trainer ignoring his son. Wait a minute, Ghost Dad came out the same year Rocky V was released!
The timeline is inconsistent. One notable example is Rocky’s son, Robert in the fourth movie is a nine-year old, but in the fifth film set immediately after Rocky defeated Drago, Robert reached early puberty. Why didn’t Sly stay faithful to the timeline? I don’t know, maybe he wanted to spend time with Sage as in “take your kid to work day?”
Robert wasn’t interesting to me. Unlike Adrian or Paulie, he was a distraction.
When Rocky takes Robert to school, he said, “I love you” while a couple of kids are outside. Moments Later, Robert is bullied by two punks. Way to go Rocky for accidentally letting your kid get bullied.
The Final Verdict: C-
Rocky V is arguably the weakest installment of the series. As a reminder, Sly is personally ashamed of this film. If you’re planning on watching every single film before Creed II, so be it.