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25 years later, Rocky V turned champ into chump



TODAY'S RETRO-REVIEW: Continuing our look at the Rocky franchise in the newsly released Creed, here's guest blogger Jim "Dr. Dim" Fitzsimons with a review of Rocky V (1990). (Download our Rocky podcast.)

THE PLOT: Thanks to the exceedingly poor business management of Paulie (Burt Young), Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) and Adrian (Talia Shire) find themselves once again broke and living in South Philly. Rocky goes back to training young boxers at the gym where he first trained. He takes on a young up and coming boxer Tommy Gunn (Tommy Morrison) and trains him into a contender. Through the manipulations of the Don King-like fight promoter George Washington Duke (Richard Gant), Tommy falls out with Rocky. Tommy does become the champion, but it's a hollow victory. Ultimately, in the street outside a dive bar in the old neighborhood, Tommy and Rocky come to blows.

MAYBE YOU REMEMBER: Rocky's son is played by Stallone's real life son Sage. Also, this is the first time in any of the films Rocky's real name is used. It's Robert. And Mickey (Burgess Meredith) returns in ghostly flashback form to inspire our hero.

SURELY YOU DIDN'T FORGET: Stallone initially wanted to have Rocky die at the end of the film. He decided against it. And that's how we get two more Rocky movies.

THE TUNES: There really isn't a stand out song in this one. Elton John's The Measure of a Man and MC Hammer's That's What I Said are about the best the soundtrack has to offer and that ain't saying much.

WHAT CRITICS SAID: "In Rocky V, the underdog is officially diagnosed as ‘brain damaged'. Yo. So what else is new?" Rita Kempley, The Washington Post

WHY WE STILL LOVE IT: We don't. We didn't then. We don't now. We just don't.


5. "Time to put some hustle behind this muscle."

4. "He stinks of opportunity, Rock."

3. "You a damned fool! Maybe we ought to sign Mrs. Balboa to fight Cane, huh? Looks like she's the only one with the cajones in this family."

2. "Come on, you know, Mickey used to say the fight ain't over till you heard the bell."

1. "Sue me for what?"

[Last modified: Monday, December 7, 2015 2:11pm]


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