After iron man Drago, a highly intimidating 6-foot-5, 261-pound Soviet athlete, kills Apollo Creed in an exhibition match, Rocky comes to the heart of Russia for 15 pile-driving boxing rounds of revenge.
Rocky Balboa is forced to retire after having permanent damage inflicted on him in the ring by the Russian boxer Ivan Drago. Returning home after the Drago bout, Balboa discovers that the fortune that he had acquired as heavyweight champ has been stolen and lost on the stockmarket by his accountant. His boxing days over, Rocky begins to coach an up-and-coming fighter named Tommy Gunn. Rocky cannot compete, however, with the high salaraies and glittering prizes being offered to Gunn by other managers in town. Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For some reason or another, certain movies achieve a reputation as being worse than they actually are. Rocky V is one such film that is affected by the as I call it Phantom Menace syndrome. This refers to Movies that are interesting in their own way but fail to live up to the hype or expectation of previous instalments, or simply do not follow the formula that everyone derided for being too predictable anyway. For me, Rocky V is the best of the sequels to the 1976 original, as it does not follow in the Rocky tradition of simply having a bigger guy to fight than in the previous film. Rocky IV was a great spectacle but it was more comical than anything to think that an entire Russian government could be funding one over-sized boxer who could kill a man with one flurry of punches, not to mention turn a blind eye to illegal doping. The fifth instalment in the anthology goes back to the more personal story of the character, and deals much more realistically with the aftermath of loss and the twisted nature of professional prize fighting.
Stallone recruited his own son for the role of Robert (Rocky's son) and the result is one of the best father son relationships ever committed to celluloid. The scene where Rocky realises that he has been a negligent father and must make his peace with the boy is affectionate and heartfelt and could never been as realistic without the real life history behind these two people.
OK, there are some flaws and I am not too naive to suggest this movie is worthy of an Oscar. The casting of Tommy 'The Machine' Gunn could have been better as real life boxer Tommy Morrison sometimes appears wooden and is never really threatening enough to Rocky for the final fight to have any tangible tension. Similarly, aside from the final tune of Elton John's 'The measure of a man' the music does not measure up to the awesome and inspirational anthems that have accompanied previous instalments. Any Flick in the early nineties that used rap music as its primary soundtrack has ultimately dated for a modern audience.
My advice would be to watch this movie in full before you judge it. There are some sad moments in this fall from grace story as well as few goofs in terms of weak acting. But it's not as bad as people say and as the sixth instalment nears completion it's about time everyone got back into the Rocky spirit for one more round.
A good film. 7/10
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