A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
As in other Rocky movies, persistence and determination are shown through dialogue and montage. However, the movie also sends a message that violence/fighting is the best and perhaps only way to solve most problems.
Positive Role Models
Rocky and Tommy Gunn settle their differences by engaging in a very bloody street fight.
Violence & Scariness
Boxing violence. In a montage, Tommy Gunn shown brutally knocking out opponent after opponent. Tommy and Rocky get into a vicious street fight: violent punches, kicks, lots of blood. Rocky Jr. is bullied by two kids in his new school -- they punch him, knock him to the ground. Rocky Jr. responds by fighting back after a montage shows him working out all the time with help from Uncle Paulie. Fighting seen as basically the only solution to any problem these characters face. Tommy Gunn talks of having a physically abusive father.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief male nudity, buttocks: Rocky in the shower. Rocky tells Adrian that he wants to "violate [her] like a parking meter." Aggressive reporter at a press conference loudly tells everyone "I heard she comes cheap" in regards to Tommy Gunn's new girlfriend. Rocky finds a drawing his son made of his French teacher, topless, with her large bust accentuated.
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"Bulls--t," "goddamn," "bitch," "damn," "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Rebellious teens smoke cigarettes. Adults smoke cigarettes. Uncle Paulie is often drunk, sneaking sips of alcohol from a flask. Beer and cocktail drinking. On Christmas Eve, Uncle Paulie comes downstairs into the living room dressed as Santa Claus -- he's shown drunk and stumbling, leading one of Rocky Jr.'s new bad-kid friends to mutter, "looks like you got a 90 Proof Santa."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rocky V is a 1990 shark-jumping sequel of the beloved franchise. While the boxing violence in any Rocky movie is to be as expected as the excessive montage usage, the violence in this one is as much out of the ring as in it. In fact, a big takeaway here is that violence is the best and perhaps only way to solve any and all conflicts. Be it Rocky's issues with his protégé-turned-Judas Tommy Gunn, or Rocky Jr.'s bullying at the hands of young teen street punks, the lingering message is that fighting makes everything OK. The issue of concussions and brain damage is discussed occasionally, but instead of it being actually meaningful and substantive, the issue just seems to be there as a device to move the story. There are shots of brief male nudity, buttocks. Rocky tells Adrian that he wants to "violate [her] like a parking meter." Rocky finds a drawing his son made of his French teacher, topless, with her large bust accentuated. The movie has drinking, drunkenness, and smoking, as well as some profanity: "bulls--t," "goddamn," "bitch," "damn," and "hell." Overall, the story is unnecessary, with forced storylines and the sense that the whole thing was phoned in. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There was really no credible reason for this sequel to be made, and it shows in the forced storyline. Every plot point seems a little too convenient. Convenient, but also a jumbled mess of three stories happening at once -- Rocky adjusting to his new life while vicariously living through a protégé, Rocky Jr. learning to stand up to bullies while also struggling to get the attention of his father, and a corrupt boxing promoter stopping at nothing to get Rocky back in the ring, despite his old age and brain damage. This chaos especially manifests itself in the inevitable montage sequences. So much is happening, and yet, none of it really needs to happen, because it's beyond redundant by this fifth movie in the franchise.
At times, Rocky V feels like little more than an excuse for Stallone to spend time with his son Sage Stallone, who plays the young teen Rocky Jr. Messages on the exploitation of professional athletes and also the effects of concussions and brain damage on aging athletes could actually have meaning to the story but are basically mentioned in passing and only seem to exist to give Rocky a reason to move back to Philly and not step in the ring. It's the proverbial "shark-jumping" sequel if there ever was one, and one of those sequels that cheapens the legacy of the original classic Rocky.
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