At a time when “Another Rocky movie!!” was not that shocking, here comes…Another Rocky movie. One too many in the minds of many.
So what was it? was it that the box office for the Rocky franchise went down or was Sylvester Stallone getting to much slack for watering down the cinematic greatness of the original? Either way, Rocky does a 180 and goes back to basics attempting to create a movie with more depth like the 1st two.
Taking place almost immediately after Rocky IV (Like all the movies do), The Italian stallion got pounded so badly that he starts talking like he use to back in the 1st Rocky movies, chalking it up to brain damage (but in reality I would not be surprised that cats from Philly were like “look how uppity Balboa got). layering the boxing clichés, Rocky’s best friend Pauly (who lasted the longest in the franchise other than Rocky himself) mismanaged the Balboa’s money to the point that Rocky had to give up the mansion and movie back to his old hood in Philly. Then we have another layer as the movie brings in A Don King wannabe who will do anything to assure the greatest most bankable fight not matter what.
All this was done to create the dramatic cinema you saw in the 1st two Rocky movies. They even brought back the original’s director. Too bad none of this worked. I personally like the gimmick that formulated Rocky III and Rocky IV no matter how cheesy it was, but the problem with Rocky V is that their attempt to create a movie with more substance was a gimmick. Just a series of stereotypes of boxing at that moment flooding the film.
Rocky also suffers from trying to be hip. These Rocky movies have always been about musical montages, but I think they missed the marc with the Hip Hop score, it felt too much like an effort and it was too intertwined to sperate the two. It’s not about if Hip Hop works with Rocky, but the Hip Hop they used for the movie was a very generic beat very common with b-movies that can’t afford better. I expected a better Nu Jack Swing from Rocky V.
It was cool that Burgess Meredith came back as Mickey or rather Mickey’s ghost. Once someone pointed out that this duded was the Penguin the 1966 Batman TV series I can’t shake it but that’s ok.
I think my favorite moment in the movie was when Balboa discover what was in the building of the stairs he like to run up. It could have been any thing (it was an art museum or something), it’s just real funny that he’s been running up these stair for 15 years, of which the last five years there was a statue built of him on top of the stairs, and now he discovers what’s inside.