Then bad turns to worse. Paulie loses the Balboa’s money after taking a chance on some investments, and the Balboas are forced to move back to their old stomping grounds.
Rocky is approached to commit to another fight, but he refuses. Rocky instead reopens the old training gym, and begins spending his time there. He is approached by a young fighter – Tommy Gunn – to train him. At first Rocky is reluctant, but ultimately he concedes.
Rocky puts his all into training Gunn, but Rocky Balboa Jr. is not impressed. He feels abandoned and neglected, so he turns to smoking and questionable conduct (you know, like hanging out with his friends at night outside of a quickie mart). It’s fairly predictable.
Meanwhile, Gunn is gaining momentum in his boxing career and he is winning every fight. He is approached by some higher-ups, and he decides to make a deal with them behind Rocky’s back. It becomes apparent that Gunn is only in it for the money and the women (what else is there?), and he abandons Rocky.
Rocky must reconcile with his son, who is desperate for attention from his father. Adrian convinces Rocky that he needs to invest in his son rather than in Gunn. Leave it to Adrian to straighten him out.
Gunn becomes the heavyweight champion, but is dissatisfied because the press is all over him. They are convinced that he never fought any fighters worth their salt, and that he never paid his dues to emerge the champion.
Gunn challenges Rocky to a fight, but Rocky won’t have any of it. Eventually their verbal quarrel turns into an all-out street brawl. Rocky emerges victorious in this battle, and the movie ends.
Rocky V (1990) is perhaps the oddest of the bunch, and while it is still relatively entertaining, Rocky never fights in the ring. He is betrayed by the only fighter he trains. He loses his home, and everything in it. Rocky V is a story about the ups and downs of life, and in that respect quite gritty.
However, it kind of fails as a Rocky movie. There’s no training montage. Rocky never once steps into the ring to fight. Nobody dies, and nothing significant happens. The only plot point that amounts to something is Rocky’s relationship with his son.