Written by / 7/13/2012 / No comments /

SYLVESTER STALLONE GOES (FOR) BROKE IN ROCKY V

year: 1990 rating: ***
After the ROCKY franchise became a comic book with ROCKY IV, John G. Avildsen, the director of the Oscar winning original,  was called upon to helm part five in which Rocky Balboa, thanks to Paulie's financial (and extremely far-fetched) blunder, goes broke...

Making this the retro sequel as Rocky's back in his old Philly neighborhood, smoking cigarettes and bouncing a ball around: bumming without purpose like the bad old days. Until an opportunity in the form of "Tommy Gun," a farm boy played by real life boxer Tommy Morrison, pesters the retired champ to return to the ring... but not as a fighter.

The best scenes have Rocky training Tommy how to brawl... all in vain since a Don King type promoter tempts Tommy to the dark side, leaving Rocky stranded after a pivotal victory. But the Italian Stallion's not the only one left in the cold. His pampered twelve year old son has to deal with bullies at an urban school. Rocky, busy training Tommy, never taught him the ropes to defend himself.

Sage Stallone, Sly's real life son... who tragically died today... does a fine job in the role as Rocky Jr, balancing pathos and vulnerability without being whiny or annoying. And the climax, as trainer and trainee (Rocky and Tommy) square off in a street battle, will really knock you out. Making the cornier moments, and the farfetched premise, not matter.
PHOTOS OF SAGE STALLONE FROM ROCKY 5
Sylvester and Sage Stallone with Burt Young in ROCKY 5
Sage Stallone in ROCKY 5
Father and Son, Sly and Sage in ROCKY 5
Father and Son, Sly and Sage in ROCKY 5
Sage Stallone in ROCKY 5
Sage Stallone in ROCKY 5
RIP SAGE STALLONE 1976-2012
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