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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Sylvester Stallone
Talia Shire
Burt Young
Sage Stallone
Burgess Meredith.
Directors
John G Avildsen.
Screenwriters
Sylvester Stallone.
Running Time
104 minutes

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Rocky V
Sly finally hangs up his gloves


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Plot
Back at square one and back in the old neighbourhood, Rocky re-opens his ex-trainer Mickey's decrepit gym, his wife goes back part-time to the pet shop and their mollycoddled son (Sage Stallone, his real-life child) gets his lunch money lifted by the local pre-pubescent mafia. When a hot new fighter, Tommy "The Machine" Gunn asks Rocky to manage him things start looking up, but when the kid gets lured away by Richard Gant's flashy promoter, it all goes horribly wrong.


Review
Some 14 years and $800 million later, Sylvester Stallone here finally closes the series that catapaulted him into the first division of male stars. Avildsen, who won an Oscar for the first and still best-regarded of the films, returns as director and puts Rocky through this rather grim tale of moral deception against the familiar backdrop of extras - Talia Shire, Burt Young and Burgess Meredith.

Returning from his unlikely title fight with Ivan Drago in Moscow (Rocky IV), Philly's favourite punchbag discovers that years of hitting other people's fists with his head have knocked something loose, and his fighting days are over. He's also greeted by financial disaster because, thanks to dumb brother-in-law Paulie, all his wealth has been syphoned off by a crooked accountant. This plot device out of the way, things get going. Simple dilemmas are at the heart of all the Rocky films and here it's "if he can't fight, what can he do to prove he's a man?" The answer of course is, er, fight.

That accepted, it's still good value, though the opening, with Rocky slumped in the shower room, rambling and incoherent, unable to control his shaking hands after the bruising bout with Drago, promises much more than the rest of the film ever delivers.


Verdict
Bemused out of the ring and brutal in it, Rocky has always been an uncomfortable hero, and it says something for Stallone's skill as a writer that he's been able to keep him going this long. Given the restrictions of the formula, Rocky V is a fitting — even graceful — way to finally hang up the gloves.


Reviewed by Rob Beattie

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Rocky V
Empire Star Rating

rocky 5

worst one ! deffinently. That street fight wasn't even a street fight ! And hip hop was rubbish to. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by antosh25 at 11:12, 06 December 2011 | Report This Post


The worst rocky film. There isnt even a proper training montage. just some weedy kid doin a few push ups. The final fight is decent the rest is very poor. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by stevolegendbauer at 17:19, 28 October 2010 | Report This Post


ROCKY V

undoubtedly the weakest of the rocky films combines two cliched storylines; a man trying to find redemption by passing on his wisdom to another and a boy learning how to fight off school bullies. I was surprised to learn that Jon G. Avildsen had returned to the director's seat to do this when it was his good grace that had won the first Rocky 3 Oscars. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by WiseGuy101 at 05:20, 05 February 2009 | Report This Post


PARALLEL UNIVERSE ROCKY

I refuse to accept this installment belongs in the series. I believe this film was Rocky from a parallel universe. A Rocky where the characters are two dimensional and pantomime in nature (Richard Gant), where glaring inconsistencies reign supreme, (Rocky Jnr was 8 in Rocky 4) and where lame dance music in the vein of MC Hammer dominates the soundtrack where Bill Conti ought to be. This movie is best regarded as a bad dream... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dhowdy at 09:40, 28 September 2008 | Report This Post


PARALLEL UNIVERSE ROCKY

I refuse to accept this installment belongs in the series. I believe this film was Rocky from a parallel universe. A Rocky where the characters are two dimensional and pantomime in nature (Richard Gant), where glaring inconsistencies reign supreme, (Rocky Jnr was 8 in Rocky 4) and where lame dance music in the vein of MC Hammer dominates the soundtrack where Bill Conti ought to be. This movie is best regarded as a bad dream... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dhowdy at 09:40, 28 September 2008 | Report This Post


seriously, the most under-rated film of all time.

ok the street fight is out of place for a rocky film, but besides from that, Rocky V is seriously under-rated. Armed with a great story, interesting characters (well, i mean a kid who can skip past puberty in the space of a couple of months is quite extraoridinary!) a fantastic plot, and some great references to the past, including a brilliant flashback to Mickey, which truly brings rocky full circle. The previous two films lacked the emotional weight of the first two, and fortunatly Rocky V has... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by cjw11138 at 20:24, 26 April 2008 | Report This Post


Rocky V

Not as bad as some people (including Sly) give it credit for but if if Rocky has brain damage how does he go the distance in Rocky Balboa? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Ethan Hunt at 16:24, 29 February 2008 | Report This Post


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