63. Rocky 5 (1990)


*Opening graphic T-H-E-W-A-R-L-O-C-K. Warlock works the heavy bag in the basement and then damn near knocks it off the hinges. He’s wearing a gray t-shirt and maroon workout shorts. He walks upstairs*

Warlock: Welcome to my lair….welcome I don’t think so, but enter. Enter my lair if you dare. I’m your host The Warlock.

*Neyzor Blades is in recliner wearing standard gear*

Warlock: Tonight’s flick is Rocky 5. The 5th and final….yeah right….movie of the Rocky series. Rocky has to adjust to life back on the streets and must take on a former protege in a no-holds barred street fight.

Neyzor Blades: What do you mean back on the streets?

Warlock: So without further adieu, its time for Rocky 5

Neyz: Wait, what?


*Warlock reads the tag-line*

Warlock: “Reluctantly retired from boxing and back from riches to rags, Rocky takes on a new protege who betrays him; As the champ’s son must adjust to his family’s new life after bankruptcy.”

Neyz: What happened?

Warlock: You’ll see.


*Movie opens with the scroll ROCKY V with the ending to the last movie. Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) knocks out Ivan Drago (Dolph Lungren) to win the battle of USA vs Russia*

Warlock: Once again taking a few minutes off the run time.


*Rocky is in the back with Duke (Tony Burton) congratulating his big win. Balboa is naked in the shower*

Neyz: Yummmmm


*Rocky shouts for Adrian (Talia Shire), he can’t stop shaking. Rocky says he’s broken inside, just like Mickey (Burgess Meredith) said happened to him once. He says “I just wanna go home Mick”

Warlock: Wow.


*Rocky returns home to a ticker-tape parade*

Neyz: What the fuck?


*Rocky Jr (Sage Stallone) runs up to Paulie (Burt Young), Duke, Adrian and Rocky. At the press conference he says he’s fine. One reporter asks if boxing should be banned because doctors won’t allow it. Rocky says doctors should be banned from fighting. This prompts a speech from the boxing promotor George Washington Duke (Richard Grant) with heavyweight contender Union Cane (Michael Anthony Williams) in tow*

Neyz: Who’s this asshole?

Warlock: He’s basically this movie’s version of Don King. He plays the role really well.


*Duke wants to promote a fight between Balboa and Union Cane in Tokyo, Japan. Adrian jumps up and says he’s retired. The reporters want to know if he will fight Cane but he walks away and blows them all off. Back home Rocky Jr notices something wrong about him. Later on Rocky Jr draws a wonderful picture of his father fishing. Then Rocky finds a picture of a topless woman Rocky Jr drew. Rocky Jr says its his French teacher. Rocky says “Don’t show your mother this, she don’t understand French too good.”

Warlock: Hahahahahaha


*Rocky “Knock knock.” Rocky Jr “Who’s there?” Rocky “Madame” Rocky Jr “Madame who?” Rocky “Madame foot is caught in the door!”

Warlock: I’m stealing that

Neyz: Its copyrighted.


*Rocky overhears a conversation. Apparently Paulie gave power of attorney to their accountant who swindled them out of their fortune. In a meeting with his lawyer, his lawyer says everything is gone. Rocky can’t do endorsement deals because of his Gazzo days but Rocky can make the money back by fighting. Adrian says he’s retiring. Rocky says to call George Washington Duke and say the fight with Cane is on*

Warlock: Not so fast.


*Rocky sees a doctor and says he has CSP…a form of brain damage. He can’t fight anymore. Adrian says she doesn’t care about the money, she cares about him.*

Neyz: Wow.

Warlock: This is an entirely different story from the previous two.


*Newspaper montage of Rocky retiring, suing his former accountant and his estate going up for auction. Rocky Jr is miserable and so is Rocky. Rocky “Mick used to say a fight ain’t over until you hear a bell”

Warlock: Heed that advice.


*Rocky goes in his attic and dresses in his old outfit from the first two movies. The leather jacket, gloves and hat.  Adrian comes up and he finds her old glasses. They reminisce about their past*

Neyz: I’ve been waiting to see that for a while.


*Rocky visits his old bar in his old neighborhood and smokes a cigarette outside*

Neyz: Smokin a BUTT!


*Rocky walks up to Mighty Mick’s Gym and walks inside. Its totally deserted and dilapidated*

Neyz: Who comes in here and wrecks the place?


*Rocky tries on an old glove and has a flashback of him training with Mick to fight Apollo Creed. Mick “I didn’t hear no bell!” Later on Mick “If you wasn’t here, I wouldn’t be alive today.” Mick “We lose our friends, we lose everything, we got no reason to go on. You gave me a reason to go on” Mick cuts a great promo and hands Rocky a cufflink given to him from Rocky Marciano. Mick says “Its like a little angel that whispers in your ear “GET UP YOU SONOVABITCH, cause Mickey loves you!”

Warlock *waterworks*

Neyz: Awwwwwwwww


*Scene shifts to his old neighborhood where a street version of Take Me Back plays as Rocky moves back into Paulie’s old house*

Warlock: Remember that from the first movie?

Neyz: She used to live there, what are you bitching about?


*George Washington Duke calls Adrian and wants Balboa to fight so they can live like human beings again. Adrian says they are living like human beings and he should try it sometime*

Warlock: Bang!


*Rocky and Paulie reading a newspaper walk Rocky Jr to school. Rocky says he’s gotta be street smart as much as school smart. Rocky walks by a woman who says Rocky used her son’s head as a punching bag. Paulie says the neighborhood is coming down with tooth decay*

Warlock: Kid’s in big trouble.


*Rocky and Paulie drop Rocky Jr off at school. Rocky says its a tough school because he went there himself. Rocky does a magic trick to give Rocky Jr lunch money. Meanwhile Tommy Gunn (Tommy Morrison) comes up to him and says he’s 44-1 as an amateur and 8-0 professional. He wants to pay Rocky to train him. Before Rocky can give an answer, George Washington Duke pulls up and calls him “Mr. Robert Balboa”

Warlock: Heh, the first an only time we ever get his Christian name.

Neyz: Good catch.


*GWD and his business partner tries to convince Rocky to fight again. Union Cane is fighting for the vacant title, he wants Rocky to fight him. He almost has Rocky going when Adrian runs out of the Pet Store and talks him out of it. GWD says he’s the people’s champion but Rocky stonefaces him. He turns and calls him a damn fool and says Adrian has the only balls in the family. He leaves and Rocky asks why Adrian is working there again. He says he has to go back to being a bum but she doesn’t have to. They make up and Rocky asks “Did we ever leave this place?” Adrian “I don’t know.”

Warlock: That’s a powerful line.


*Rocky blows off Tommy and enters Mick’s old gym. Meanwhile in the limo GWD tells Union Cane that he owns him and he’ll do as he says*

Warlock: See, told you he was a heel.


*Chickie (Kevin Connolly), his friend (Hayes Swope) and Jewel (Elisebeth Peters) confront Rocky Jr. Chickie insults Rocky Sr, beats Jr up and steals his jacket. Jewel runs away*

Neyz: If I saw my nephew smoking like that I’d beat the cigarette out of his face. You’d think his parents saw his son come home with a new fancy coat, they’d think something was up.


*Mick’s Gym is alive again with Rocky running the show. Tommy Gunn signs up. Tommy wants to spar and Rocky lets him. Jimmy (Jimmy Gambina) gets Tommy  ready. Tommy absolutely destroys the sparring partner as Rocky tries to stop him. Rocky tells him to get lost but Tommy wants Rocky to manage him. Rocky says no and Tommy storms away*

Neyz: He’s mad.


*Jewel walks up to Rocky Jr and offers her coat, Rocky turns her down. Jewel says she’s not like other girls then checks him out. “For an Italian kid, you ain’t got a bad butt.”

Neyz: Hahaha

Warlock: Usually its the other way around. The guys checkin out the girls.


*Tommy walks up to Paulie and Rocky and once again asks him to manage him. Tommy tells him he has no family and Rocky is his idol growing up in Oklahoma. He just wants a chance*

Warlock: If you had….one shot…

Neyz: Oh come on, don’t…booooo


*Rocky invites Tommy home for dinner. Rocky asks why Rocky Jr has a black eye. Paulie says to take a baseball bat to the other kid’s face. Adrian says she’s going to the principal and Rocky Jr says no. He wants Rocky Sr to teach him how to fight. He asks Tommy if his father taught him how to fight, Tommy says it was the opposite. Tommy gives an emotional story how his father was an abusive alcoholic and he learned to fight to knock him out. He says every time he’s in the ring, he sees his father. Paulie “Its the fittest of the survival”

Warlock: That’s powerful.


*Rocky pretty much gives Rocky Jr’s room to Tommy. Rocky Jr fixes up the basement and Rocky loves it, but blows him off to talk to Tommy. Rocky Jr tries to tell his father he met Jewel but Rocky is more interested in Tommy. He says he’ll train Tommy to fight and Rocky Jr leaves. Next day Chickie and his friend mug Rocky Jr for his lunch money again*

Neyz: What a little shit.


*Rocky shouts for Father Carmine (the same guy as the 2nd movie) to say a prayer for him and Tommy as they run. Next scene is Tommy’s first fight with Rocky. Its at the same club Rocky fought in the first movie*

Warlock: If only Spider Rico was in the corner of his opponent.


*Rocky gives Tommy a pep talk in the corner and Tommy comes out for the second round and creams his opponent, winning by KO*

Warlock: And so it begins.


*We get a montage of Rocky training Tommy and Tommy rising up the ranks.Paulie has to train Rocky Jr to fight. George Washington Duke takes notice of Tommy. Tommy starts wearing Rocky/Apollo’s trunks in his big fights. Adrian notices Rocky spending more time with Tommy than his own son*

Neyz: That’s so sad.


*Rocky Jr is confronted again, only this time he beats the crap out of Chickie and takes his jacket back. He shakes hands with Chickie and runs to tell his dad. Rocky blows him off and Jewel has to console him*

Neyz: Saw that coming


*Union Cane wins the title and Tommy asks if that could be him, Rocky says sure. Another montage of Tommy dominating in the ring only this time Tommy develops an entourage. GWD introduces Tommy to Karen (Delia Sheppard)*

Ney: Oh this is gonna fuck him up.


*Adrian puts the paper with Rocky and Tommy on it under her birds*

Neyz: Hahahaha


*Paulie sees the fact Tommy is about to leave Rocky for GWD. Sure enough, Tommy is lured by the money even though Rocky continues to train him. Tommy gets increasingly jealous of being in Rocky’s shadow*

Warlock: This was actually a nice setup.


*Christmas time at Rocky’s house has Rocky Jr chilling with Jewel, Chickie and some random kid. Rocky tells Adrian he’s going to give Marciano’s cufflink that Mick gave him to Tommy. Rocky Jr is saddened and Adrian says he’s given enough*

Neyz: Wow….that gift was meant for Rocky Jr.


*Tommy is lured by GWD to leave Balboa to fight for the title for 20 grand. Meanwhile Rocky brings Paulie down as Santa and the kids are not impressed. Jewel “You have a weird family.” Rocky Jr “Don’t I know it.” Rocky Jr then confronts Rocky and blows him off. He’s got an earring and tells his dad is changing. Rocky goes to talk to him and Paulie says he saw it coming. Rocky Jr gets emotional and says Rocky put Tommy before him and he got scammed. The kids leave and all of a sudden GWD, his business guy, Tommy and Karen enter the door. GWD wants Balboa to allow Tommy to fight Union Cane. Tommy wants to talk to Rocky as Karen is trying to rush him out the door*

Neyz: Get her gone!


*Tommy shows off his new car to Rocky. Rocky tells him to give it back and Tommy knew he’d say that. He says he’s going to sign with GWD and Rocky tries to talk him out of it. He calls GWD a vampire that mooches off him. He tries to tell him that GWD is using him and Mick protected himself from that sort of thing. Tommy “I’m not you and you ain’t Mick. I’m signing with him. If you want to train me, train me. If not, don’t. But he gave me my title shot, not you. Its my way or the highway* He speeds off.

Neyz: Ungrateful little prick.


*Rocky suffers a breakdown and Adrian tries to console him. Rocky saw Tommy as his ticket out of the Philly slums. Adrian tells him that she knows Tommy made him feel alive but she’s losing Rocky Jr. “Rocky you’re losing your family!”

Neyz: Powerful


*Jewel, Chickie, Rocky Jr and the crony stand outside smoking. Rocky comes up and the friends leave. Rocky Jr flicks his cigarette and tries to blow him off*

Warlock: Remember the second movie where Rocky said his son wouldn’t be standing on a street corner, well there he is.


*Rocky apologizes to Rocky Jr and Rocky Jr says “Home team?” Rocky tells another knock knock joke and they walk off arm in arm*

Neyz:  That’s good.


*We switch to Madison Square Garden where Tommy fights Union Cane without Balboa. Tommy’s new cornerman is Kevin Rooney*

Warlock: Hey look its Kevin Rooney.

Neyz: Who?

Warlock: In real life he helped train Mike Tyson until Don King got ahold of Mike. This movie is life imitating art.


*Balboa hits the heavybag as he watches Tommy knock Cane out to win the title*

Warlock: See how easy GWD dropped Union Cane there? They should have incorporated that in the end.


*Tommy is crowned the new heavyweight champion. Balboa is ecstatic but Paulie, Adrian and Rocky Jr look on in horror. Paulie calls him a crum-bum dirtbag. Tommy thanks GWD for everything and not Rocky. The entire crowd boos*

Neyz: Awww come on!!!


*The boxing commentators say he should have thanked Balboa and the crowd chants Rocky much to Tommy’s chagrin*

Warlock: Everyone knows what’s up.


*Rocky goes to hit the bar with Paulie and we cut to a press conference. GWD and Tommy answer questions. The reporters are really ruthless with their questions and it has to be seen to be appreciated. The best one is someone making the comment “This guy may win a few fights, but a Rocky Balboa he’ll never be” Another reporter says Karen comes cheap.

Warlock: That’s his penance for dropping Balboa.

Neyz: Finally she got hers up her ass.


*Tommy is enraged and GWD says to challenge Balboa to a fight to get out of his shadow. GWD cuts a heel promo to rile up Gunn to get Balboa in the ring*

Neyz: Wow, so we’re gonna see them in the ring?

Warlock: Not exactly.


*Andy the bartender from the first couple of movies (Don Sherman) tells Rocky the pinball machine cost him a fortune. Rocky “Yeah well its costing ME a fortune too.”

Warlock: My favorite line.


*GWD and Tommy show up outside the bar and call out Balboa. Balboa and the bar patrons walk outside. Gunn challenges him to a fight and calls him yellow. Paulie says Gunn has no class and they all go inside. Gunn runs in and continues the challenge. Rocky tells Tommy GWD used him to get them to fight and GWD smiles. Rocky says he’s got nothing to prove and rejects the challenge. Paulie calls Tommy garbage and Rocky carried him. Tommy knocks him down and GWD tries to get him out the door. Paulie “You should have left him on the street.” Balboa gets enraged and tells Tommy its go-time. GWD says the fight is in the ring. Balboa “My rings outside.”

Neyz: This is different


*Tommy and Rocky walks outside. GWD tries to talk Tommy out of it but he won’t listen. Tommy “I want my respect!”

Neyz: You ain’t gonna get it being a bum


*Rocky and Tommy brawl and Rocky knocks him down. He says they were supposed to be brothers and he blew it. Gunn gets up and attacks Rocky from behind. They brawl on the streets of Philly as Rocky Jr tells Adrian they’re fighting. Tommy gets the upper hand and knocks down Rocky. Rocky has flashbacks of his former fights and hallucinates Mickey telling him “One more round! He’s no machine. I didn’t hear no bell. Get up you sonovabitch, cause Mickey loves ya!” Rocky gets up as the Rocky theme plays*

Neyz: Here’s his can of spinach.


*Rocky “I didn’t hear no bell, one more round!” GWD  to Tommy “You lose you’re finished!” Tommy “I’m not gonna knock you out, I’m gonna put you through the street”  Rocky gets the upperhand and beats Tommy around.

Neyz: That’s what I’m gonna teach my kid to do, to protect himself.


*Rocky goes to hit GWD and he says “Touch me and I’ll sue you.” GWD gets Tommy back up and they continue to brawl. Rocky Jr  shows up and says “Knock the bum out, he took my room!”

Neyz: Bahahahaha


*Rocky takes a series of haymakers but fights back with a series of his own. He backs Tommy up with a series of punches then finishes him up with a left uppercut against a bus*

Neyz: Yeah, show that bum who’s boss.


*GWD: God damn…only in America”

Warlock: Don King haha.


*GWD “Hey Rock, you outclassed the bum!” Rocky goes up to him, GWD “Touch me and I’ll sue.” Rocky decks him with a left uppercut. “Sue me for what?” Father Carmine says a prayer for Rocky as the cops haul off Tommy Gunn*

Warlock: Goodbye Tommy


*Rocky and his son run up the steps of the art museum and Rocky says as long as his statue is here, pigeons will always have a place to sit. He then gives Rocky Jr the Marciano cuff links. Rocky “You know I’ve been running up these steps for 20 years and I never actually been in here.” Rocky and Rocky Jr enter the museum as the credits roll and “The Measure of a Man” by Elton John plays*

Neyz: Awww yayyyy

Warlock: Not the endibg Stallone wanted.

Neyz: What do you mean?

Warlock: Originally Rocky wins the fight but dies in the hospital. Adrian comes out and says Rocky lives on in all of us. The bigwigs saw the script and was like “AW HELL NO!” and told Stallone to change it.

Neyz: Yeah that doesn’t seem right.


Neyzor Blades assessment:  Much better than 3 and 4. I prefer the dopey Rocky to the civilized one. I liked the switch and difference and thankfully nobody died. 9 out of 10

Warlock’s assessment: I like the switch but the problem was NOBODY wanted to see Rocky lose it all. It also suffered because it came out the same week as Home Alone and because it wasn’t as good, it bombed in the box office. Fans weren’t ready to see Rocky become Mickey just yet. 8 out of 10 still.

Final Grade 8.5 out of 10 – Outstanding


*Warlock rises from the couch*

Warlock: Well that was a major disappointment. The movie bombed at the box office because Home Alone came out the same week. Speaking of Home Alone….

Neyz: What? I like that movie.

Warlock: Nevermind…… Anyway that wraps up Rocky 5. Not as bad as everyone says, just not the story people wanted. Next time we finish off the series with Rocky Balboa.

*Rocky holds up his arms and shouts*

Neyz: Cut it out…..and have a pleasant evening.


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