Rocky V Reviews
Avildsen and Stallone introduce all of these subplots that work in theory, but are either never given enough development to have any real impact, or get caught up in awkward, and all around not so great execution. Rocky's brain damage sustained from his fight with Ivan Dragon is glossed over much too quickly: asidr from a couple of migranes/flashbacks, the effects of it that are shown throughout the movie are watered down to Stallone hamming it up. The interactions between Rocky and his son (played by Stallone's real-life son Sage) start out fine enough but slowly become more and more awkward as Sage just simply isn't quite up to par with the material (or maybe vice versa). The most heavily dealt with side of the plot, involving Rocky taking up Mick's mantle by training a reckless young fighter (in another real-life parallel, played by actual boxer Tommy Morrison), makes for an interesting angle as a potential passing of the torch, but is too predictable to ever pack the punch a (seemingly) final franchise film deserves.
The franchise would go on to find its comeback some sixteen years later, but it's no surprise Rocky V served as the catalyst to the series hanging up the gloves. The film harps on the idea of boxing being 10% muscle and the rest heart, but that heart just isn't beating the same way it was in '76.
Let's start with the problems, because they certainly are glaringly obvious:
*Rocky acts like he is truly retarded throughout this one, rather than the sweet-natured oaf he played previously
*The scene in the gym where he sees Mickey talking to his younger(?) self is hack as f*ck
*Robert needs to shut the hell up and get that weird earring off of his head
*Paulie manages to literally give away all of the family's money by signing a single piece of paper (off screen)
But there's a lot of good here, too:
*The relationship with Tommy Gunn, a talented hot head who ultimately fails because he lacks Rocky's heart (Adrian's speech about this really well encapsulates the appeal of this series)
*The ending fight scene with Tommy is bad ass
*The weird, avant-garde black and white, "Jeremy's Spoken" style montage
*The emphasis on Rocky's PTSD following the Drago fight, which actually retroactively makes the impossibility of that previous feat more palatable
*George Duke Washington's scenery chewing