I don’t HATE this movie. I don’t. But there are some things about it that I fucking hate. Do I hate the story? Nope. It’s cliched and anyone can tell it’s a real fucking REACH to try and milk something out of the franchise (which I hope isn’t what’s going to happen with CREED). I get it. I do – but… it just doesn’t work for me at all. Rocky was supposed to be an inspiration for the little guy – the guy that never got a chance and when he did, he proved himself – he beat all of the odds and went the distance when no one thought he could. This one was just… not necessary… Let’s see what we’ve got..
Starting directly after the big fight with Drago, where he about got his brains beat out but was still able to unite two warring countries through boxing; remember his big “Tear down that wall, Mr Gorbachev!! Yo, tear it down!!” speech after he knocked down Drago? Such an inspiration for the collapse of the USSR. Wait… you don’t? What? Were you loaded? HMMMM. Oh well, after the fight, we get to see some Rocky butt while he showers (notice: the only nudity in any of these aside from that bootleg copy Brian made on his Video Recorder where he’s getting a Handy from ________ in a filthy New Jersey Cinematheque) (There’s still a few copies circulating in Mexico – i was just there and you can get one sticky VHS box for 29 Pesos). Anyway, Rocky’s taking a shower and he gets the shaky hands and he calls in Adrian and her Pantsuit and he tells her he’s never felt like this and he’s scared and he thinks he needs to throw in the towel and all of that shit and they head home to The States.
I understand the emotional intention proposed in this scene but it really never worked for me – I saw this in theater back in ’90 – I think with Scrotey – I didn’t like it then and I didn’t like it now. Like I said – I get it – I get the story arc – this is what happens to a guy who gets punched in the face for a living – but… WAY too much fucking melodrama…
When they get home they find out that Paulie gave Power of Attorney to some lawyer and they lost all of their money and their gigantic mansion and, I presume, that fucking robot from the last one. It also turns out the Rock has brain damage so he can’t fight to get some more money so they decide to Estate Sale everything they own. I’m not familiar with sales like this but I would have thought that they could have made SOME money off of the sales of their millions of dollars of furniture and shit but they don’t – they end up moving back to “The Neighborhood” where they all met and…. I think they even move back into Adrian and Paulie’s old house – which I would have thought they sold for pennies when Rocky made millions and they all moved into a mansion. Did I miss something?
On the last day of their residence there, where I think they wouldn’t be home in the first place, Rock is up in the attic rummaging through a trunk where he comes across his old Fedora, leather jacket, rubber ball and Adrian’s glasses from 1977. Again – I do understand what they screenwriters were going for here – sentimentality and a return to the way it use to be before it got all “Mr. T and Drago-y” but…. I’m sure people think I have a damaged brain but, aside from a few drunken concussions, I’ve never had brain damage – but… in the first one Rocky was a simple guy who just wanted to go the distance. In this one, he turns into a simpleton who just wants to magically pull coins from behind his kid’s ear and talk nonstop. He even reverts to smoking filtered cigarettes.
Broken like a Frenchman who just ran out of genital perfume or, even better, broken like a Greek who just ran out of chest hair wax, he wanders the streets of Philadelphia kicking beer cans, pissing on hobos and shitting in trash cans. After drunkenly challenging a stinking Wino to a fistfight and murdering him in the streets, he comes across Mick’s old gym where he first started out. Turns out that’s his last worldly possession – as willed to his son – so he decides to take in wayward, down and out fighters and whip them into shape by making them carry piss buckets around.
One afternoon, while walking with Paulie to meet Adrian who is working at the feed store again they come across this white guy from Oklahoma named Tommy Gunn. Tommy Gunn is a terrible actor but he has a mean, knock-you-out-mother-fucker punch so Balboa decides to become his trainer and keep livin’ that boxing dream. If you’re not familiar with this, he falls in love with Gunn – so much so that he kicks his own kid out of his own home and gives the kid’s room to Gunn, presumably so they can grease each other up at night and work on their jabs and sticks. “STICK AND JAB!! STICK AND JAB!!!”
Oh well….tainted humor, I suppose. Well – Rocky gets Gunn all badassed up and he wins a bunch of fights by KO and then Hostetler from Deadwood comes around as a big fight promoter and promises Young Gunn a lot of money if he’ll sign with him so this ungrateful mother fucker ditches Rocky to go to someone more flashy and hot with a lot of fucking bling and off he goes into the wild blue yonder leaving his mentor and friend behind like the Piss Ant he is.
Before too long he wins the Title Belt but the media laugh him off because he’s just “Rocky Lite” so he gets his nads in a knot and screams out of the press conference to confront Rocky at the local bar. Instead of getting naked and submission wrestling, he punches Paulie in the face which pisses Rocky off so they get in the fucking Octagon and go Nine Rounds of Death. While they might not actually get in an Octagon, they do go out back behind the bar, “Man Style” and do some Old School Alley Fightin’ complete with Fence Tossin’ and Dumpster Throwin’ and Stay Down Sucka Finger Pointin’ and Charge From The Back Screamin’ and then when it’s time for the big Rocky Come Back Win-Winnin’ they do a MISERABLE 90s synth shitcrap rendering of the Rocky theme that made this entire movie feel like a crappy New Kids On The Block Video and I felt like my hero had been shat upon. Hi Fresh Prince of Bel Air Rocky theme.
I mean, it’s absolutely AWFUL. I’m surprised they didn’t have Rocky turn his pants around and do some Kris Kross while he did The Running Man after he decked Gunn. Or even The Moonwalk.Like I said, I “get” the movie but it doesn’t work for me, a lifelong Rocky guy. Gone are all traces of inspiration and hope. This is simply a rotten tit-milk of an attempt and I’ll never watch it again. BOOOOOOO. PISSSSSSSSS.