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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Friday, January 29, 2016

Movie Review - Rocky V

***Rocky Week -- Day 5***
***Note:  Spoilers may appear in all Rocky Week reviews.***
Rocky V (1990)
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Richard Gant, Tommy Morrison, Sage Stallone, and Burgess Meredith
Directed by John G. Avildsen

Here's the problem with Rocky V -- I've already forgotten about it less than two days after watching it.  Granted, some of that may be attributable to the fact that I've watched six Rocky films over the past six days, but even when I had to refresh with the wikipedia summary, I still oddly found Rocky V a bit of a blur.

Once again, as has been the case with II-IV, we begin the film with a recap the prior film's final fight -- a conceit that I will never comprehend.  Following the unnecessary Ivan Drago remembrance, we discover that Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) has returned home to the US only to find that brother-in-law Paulie (Burt Young) unknowingly had Rocky sign power of attorney over to a crooked lawyer who has depleted nearly all of the Balboa's funds.  Forced to move out of their large mansion and downsize to a row home in Philadelphia, Rocky decides to make a little money by training a young boxer named Tommy Gunn (Tommy Morrison).  Unbeknown to Rocky, Gunn is approached by shady, bombastic promoter George Washington Duke (Richard Gant) who wants Gunn to fight his protégé and when Gunn agrees, he shuns Rocky and his training.

Even that summary exudes boredom which is unfortunately the case throughout Rocky V.  Rather shockingly, this is the one Rocky movie that doesn't showcase Rocky training for another fight -- instead we get montages of Rocky training someone else to fight.  It's very different!  Tommy Morrison is a lukewarm actor and Richard Gant as the obnoxious promoter makes Rocky IV's Dolph Lundgren look like a Shakespearean actor.

The one positive in Rocky V -- and what I actually liked at the film's beginning -- is the relationship between Rocky and his son Rocky, Jr. (played by Stallone's real son Sage).  There are some tender moments at the start that ring surprisingly true, but Junior's storyline is pushed to the sidelines when Tommy Gunn comes into the picture and it hurts the film.  Fortunately, the father/son relationship is explored further and to much greater effect in the next film in the series and my thoughts on that one may surprise and even shock you.

The RyMickey Rating:  D+

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