Rocky V | Chicago Reader

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Having suffered irreversible brain damage from his last bout in the Soviet Union, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) returns to Philadelphia and discovers that he has lost all his money through the scams of a crooked accountant. After his wife (Talia Shire) persuades him to retire, a young fighter named Tommy Gunn (Tommy Morrison) convinces Rocky to train him; Tommy rises to fame on a steady stream of knockouts (his opponents appear to be exclusively nonwhite) while Rocky neglects Rocky Jr. (Sage Stallone) in order to live vicariously on Tommy's triumphs. Meanwhile, a Mephistophelian black promoter (Richard Gant) lures Tommy away from Rocky, and only after a climactic street fight between Rocky and Tommy are things set right again. John G. Avildsen directs Stallone's primitive script with the corn it calls for, hoping to distract from the simplicity with a few fancy montages, and does a fairly good job with the climactic slugfest; but the dramatic moves are so obvious and shopworn that not even the star's mournful basset-hound expressions can redeem them. With Burt Young (1990).
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