Friday, December 13, 2002


I saw "Rocky V" in the theater. It was a mistake. So was the greenlight that sent that project into motion. I plead with MGM to leave sleeping southpaws where they lie and abandon the idea of bringing a 50-plus Rocky out of retirement and back into the ring . Rocky should have hung up the gloves after defeating Drago and winning over a hostile Moscow crowd. Sure, it was heavy-handed, but "IV" was a lot of fun and the climactic fight scene at the end had me up and out of my chair just like that first fight against Apollo Creed did. The first four movies were Rocky quality, "V" was crap. Its existence insults the franchise almost as much as "Godfather III" does in its parallel gangster universe. "V" felt desperate. The writing was weak, the acting was wooden, the whole thing stunk like the gym where Mickey first taught Balboa how to box. I dread the thought of "Rocky VI." The once proud franchise has already gone one round past the point where it should have thrown in the towel, I beg and plead for it not to get up off the canvas wobbly-legged and cross-eyed and insist, "I can go on. Don't stop it. This fight ain't over." I'm calling it right now. It's over. TKO. To accurately communicate my true feelings about making another Rocky movie, I'll have to paraphrase a heartless Ivan Drago after he knocked Apollo unconscious in the ring, "If it dies, it dies."

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