Film: Rocky V

Go for it.

Rocky V is the final numbered film in the Rocky series, which picks up directly from the previous film.

Rocky has fallen on hard times due to combination of suffering from brain damage after his bout with Drago and having his fortune stolen by a crooked accountant. He is forced to move back to his old neighbourhood, where he start running late Mickey's gym. He becomes a trainer to a young boxer named Tommy Gunn. This doesn't sit well with his son, and their relationship starts to deteriorate.

This film has the examples of:

  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Tommy Gunn has betrayed Rocky's trust, left him in the gutter despite Rocky's genuinely good intentions for him, has demanded a fight live on television, beaten the crap out of his Uncle Paulie, and very nearly beaten his father to death, but Rocky's son wants Rocky to take Tommy down because he took his room. Priorities, kid!
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Tommy Gunn's boxing style, mimicking Rocky's.
  • Boxing Lesson: Rocky's son learns how to box in order to deal with the school bully (though, ironically, not from Rocky himself).
  • Career-Ending Injury: Rocky's brain damage.
  • Darker and Edgier: Rocky V was an attempt to recapture the grittier feel of the first film after the apogee of over-the-top excess that was Rocky IV.
    • The appearance of Duke and the reporters manage to destroy any attempt in making the movie as gritty as the first and second film.
  • Deceptive Disciple: Tommy Gunn.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Everybody seems to think they can take Rocky in a fight. Did Union Cane really not see the Drago fight where Rocky got the hell beat out of him and still came out on top? And Tommy Gunn should know better, but still he thinks he can take Rocky, who used to break people's thumbs for a living in a street fight, no less.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: Rocky's making ends meet at Mickey's old gym.
  • Fur and Loathing: The only furs are worn by the corrupt manager, and a woman who seemed to be a gold digger.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Mentioned; despite being a trained boxer, Rocky was also a former mob-enforcer and knew how to act as a street fighter. Tommy Gunn's new manager even berates him for expecting to use the same skills in a street fight.
    Rocky (to Tommy): My ring's outside...
  • Historical In-Joke: A blink and you'll miss it one: when trying to recruit Rocky to come out of retirement and fight current champ Union Cane, George Washington Duke (a Don King Captain Ersatz) mentions that he wants to set the fight in Tokyo. In real life, Mike Tyson's first defeat at the hands of Buster Douglas came in a bout promoted by Don King and took place in the Tokyodome a mere 10 months before the film opened.
  • Immediate Sequel: The film begins minutes after Rocky IV, with Rocky suffering the effects of Drago's blows. Though do note that while muddled, the story eventually works its way up to Christmas of 1990.
  • Karma Houdini: Rocky's crooked accountant (unseen in the movie) who squandered all his fortune on bad business deals, disappeared, and left him broke.
  • Lonely at the Top: This is the ultimate fate of Tommy Gunn. He's made it to the top, became world heavyweight champion, and got all the money he could have asked for, including a hot girl. Unfortunately for him, no body really respects the guy, especially after he chose to dump and forget about Rocky Balboa (the man who trained him into the talented boxer he was), was criticized for not having a real challenge, and he practically sold his soul to GW Duke, who was only using him to hopefully profit off of a match between him and Balboa, which Gunn himself destroyed any hope of that with a punch at Rocky's friend, Paulie. After the fight, he was disowned by GW Duke (who warned him that he's finished if he lost) is seen getting arrested after a humiliating defeat, and will likely lose it all over again.
  • Madeof Iron: Are we really just going to ignore the fact that Paulie takes a blow to the head from the Heavyweight Champion of the World and shrugs it off like it was nothing?
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Paulie seemed to have been tricked into signing power of attorney over to their accountant.
    • Rocky nearly tore his family apart thanks to his obsession with training and managing Tommy Gunn.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: George Washington Duke wanted Tommy Gunn to get Rocky out of retirement and into a fight so he can profit off Rocky's name. Tommy then dashed all chances by pushing Rocky's Berserk Button by punching Paulie out.
  • Numbered Sequels
  • Oh, Crap: George Washington Duke pulls this towards the end:
    Duke: Touch me and I'll sue.
    Rocky smirks, then punches the lights out of Duke.
    Rocky: Sue me for what?
  • Old Master: Rocky, now Older and Wiser himself, attempts to be this to Tommy Gunn, but it doesn't go nearly as well through no fault of Rocky's. He gave his best effort, but the sport, and particularly the corruption at its top levels, had passed him by since he stepped out of the ring, and Gunn didn't have the sense to realize that Rocky (unlike George Washington Duke) sincerely had his best interests in mind.
  • Punny Name: Tommy Gunn. Paulie even lampshaded it.
  • Reality Ensues: Seemed to be the mission statement during the production of the film. Of course Rocky's crappy defense and countless headshots would result in brain damage. Of course his lousy bum of a brother-in-law would screw things up. Of course his criminal record would come back and bite him (it prevents him from doing endorsements).
  • Ripped from the Headlines:
    • Real life: Mike Tyson, a young delinquent from a broken home, shows boxing talent and is taken in by legendary trainer Cus D'Amato, who eventually goes so far to adopt Tyson. Tyson begins cutting a swath through professional boxing, gaining notice because of how quickly and brutally he knocks out his competition, but D'Amato dies before Tyson captures the heavyweight title. After D'Amato's death, sleazy and unprincipled promoter Don King gets Tyson to break with the management team D'Amato left behind to look after Tyson by convincing Tyson that he'd make more money with King and that Tyson's management team was stealing from him. (They weren't, they were investing for his retirement.) This begins leading Tyson down a road to ruin.
    • Rocky V: Tommy Gunn, a young delinquent from a broken home, seeks out legendary retired boxer Rocky Balboa, and eventually gets Rocky to be his trainer. Eventually, Tommy is taken in like a member of the family. Tommy soon gains media attention by cutting a swath through the heavyweight ranks with quick knockouts, but he also gains the attention of sleazy and unprincipled boxing promoter George Washington Duke. Tommy, frustrated that Rocky insists on progressing Tommy's career at a slow and steady pace rather than going for the title shot, is seduced away by Duke, who promises him a title shot and more money than Rocky could get him. This sets Tommy up to go down the wrong path.
    • Just compare these speeches from Cus D'Amato, Mike Tyson's trainer, and adoptive father, (link) and Rocky's flashback of Mickey from Rocky V. (Link)
  • The Scrappy: In-universe, the press and the crowds do not like Tommy Gunn, especially after he dumped Rocky for GW Duke.
  • Sequel Reset: All the wealth made by Rocky as a world famous heavyweight champion in the past sequels has been lost due to a crooked accountant and Rocky is left as poor as he was in the first movie.
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Rocky Jr. (Robert) was nine in Rocky IV when Rocky went to Russia to fight Drago. When he and Adrian return home at the beginning of the film, his son is now in early adolescence. How long were they in Russia?!
    • Rocky Krakoff was originally meant to play Rocky Jr. in early scenes and Sage would play him in the later ones (set in 1990). However when Krakoff proved unavailable, it was decided just to flat use Sage for the whole movie. While not especially convincing, Sage looks far more youthful and fresh-faced at the beginning of the movie than he does in later parts where he's older and harder.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Adrian called Rocky out on how his continuous attempts at reliving his career through Tommy has alienated his son from him.