I am not macho. Not at all. But if my back is to the wall and I hear Eye of the Tiger or Bill Conti's Gonna Fly Now or even if someone in a crowd yells "Mickey Loves Ya!" I may very well fight my own mother. There is something about those musical cues that can turn me into a wreckin' machine ready to eat lightning and crap thunder. On the other hand, Rocky Balboa's story arc through six films (and to a certain extent Creed) gets me on an emotional level as well. I think I've cried more tears at the end of the Rocky movies than at the birth of my own children. But I'm not here to talk about the entire franchise or all of the times I got my ass kicked for yelling "One more round" in someone's face after one too many drinks. And you surely didn't come here to read about it. I'm here to talk about my love/hate relationship with easily one of the most universally hated sequels in history. No, not Mannequin 2: On the Move. I love that movie.
Released in 1990, Rocky V was written by Stallone only to make money (his words, not mine) and wound up being the only film in the franchise to lose money at the box office. Set weeks after the fourth installment, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) his wife Adrian (Talia Shire) and brother-in-law Paulie (Burt Young), receive a hero's welcome at the airport following Balboa's battle with Ivan Drago in Russia. They're greeted by their son Robert Jr. (the late Sage Stallone) who is now 13 years old, despite him being about eight when they left for Moscow. They hold a press conference which is interrupted by George Washington Duke (Richard Gant) an unapologetic Don King rip-off who somehow wired his way into the PA system because the man has a microphone for no reason. In addition to calling Rocky the "Champion of all the Americas and all of the Russias", he interrupts the press conference to invite Balboa to fight Union Cane, the newest contender for the Heavyweight Championship. At this time, Adrian announces her husband's retirement from professional boxing. Once they finally arrive home, Rocky shows Robert Jr. a magic trick. Because for some reason, Rocky likes pulling things from behind people's ears in this movie. And Robert Jr. likes his French teacher's tits.
Robert Jr. is into ButterFaces
While Rocky is training new recruits, Robert Jr. is having a rough time adjusting to his new inner city school. He got beaten up and had his coat taken from him. Funny how the son of a boxer was never taught how to throw a punch. Tommy joins the Balboas for dinner and shares a heart warming family story of being tied to a chair by his own father and beaten until he couldn't move. Good times. Rocky continues his track record as father of the year by giving up Robert Jr's bedroom to Tommy and pawning his son off to Paulie, who proceeds to ask his young nephew if he pisses the bed. It is unclear if they will be sharing the same bed.
Not pictured: Leaky plumbing
In the final scene, we see Rocky and Robert Jr. running up the steps of the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art and they stop in front of Rocky's statue. They talk for a brief moment when Rocky decides to be a magician again. He pulls his necklace out from behind his son's ear and gives it to him. I didn't mention the necklace earlier because it really plays a minor role in the plot and also because this movie is terrible. But dammit, I love this movie. So as they walk towards the museum and the credits roll, we are treated to an Elton John song. Seriously, an original song made specifically for this movie by Academy and Tony Award winner Elton John. The entire soundtrack of this film has been 90s hip-hop, complete with a song by MC "I'll be broke in five years" Hammer. And then....Elton John? It isn't a bad song, it just surprises you. You know, the way herpes surprises you. This thing just shows up and ruins your night. I have a feeling Elton wants you to forget his song from this movie almost as badly as Sly wants you to forget this movie altogether.
Of course, part five was not the end for Stallone's boxing franchise. In 2006, he went back to the well with Rocky Balboa. Notice how he didn't call it Rocky VI. Because if he did, he'd be reminding you there was a fifth. This past Thanksgiving, the fans welcomed a reboot of the franchise called Creed, telling the story of Rocky training the illegitimate son of his deceased friend Apollo. Based on it's success, I think Rocky may have one more round in him after all.
A few years ago, Rocky V director John G. Avildsen released his director's cut online. The main differences are just some alternate cuts and some deleted scenes. A petition was created to be presented to MGM/UA to get the movie a DVD/BluRay release. It needed 100,000 signatures. It got 49. Had I known the petition existed, it probably would've had 50.
Now, I can't say for sure whether I love or hate this movie. It all honestly depends on the day. There are some insane leaps of faith you have to take with this one. Timeline issues, bad dialouge and a boxer who can no longer legitimately box. All those things aside, what I can tell you is that I've had more fun sitting around with my friends talking about this movie than actually watching it. I own them all on BluRay and this one at least gets more views than Rocky II. Ever notice in the first one how mad Rocky gets when someone tells him to take Adrian to a zoo because "retards love the zoo?". But then in the second one, Rocky proposes to her at the motherf--king zoo!?! I'm sorry, I promised I wouldn't speak about my problems with the remainder of the franchise. There is always next Shitmas. And I didn't hear no bell.......
- Chris Roberts
Second Hand Terror