Rocky V is an American film released as the fifth film in the Rocky series in 1990. It stars Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Stallone's real life son Sage, and real life boxer Tommy Morrison as boxer Tommy Gunn, a talented yet raw boxer. Sage played Robert Balboa, whose relationship with his famous father is explored. After Stallone directed the second through fourth films in the series, Rocky V saw the return of director John G. Avildsen, whose direction of the first film won him an Academy Award for Best Director. This is the only Rocky film to receive a PG-13 rating by the MPAA; the other movies received PG ratings.
Rocky V begins with Rocky and his trainer Tony "Duke" Evers in their dressing room after the Drago fight. Tony praises Rocky for his victory, but Rocky, seen to be in some form of physical discomfort, asks Tony to summon his wife, Adrian. His hands are shaking, and he cannot make them stop. In distress, he mistakenly calls out for "Mick", the name of his deceased former trainer. Rocky returns home from the Soviet Union and is greeted by his son, Robert. At the following press conference, a crooked promoter named George Washington Duke (a parody of boxing promoter Don King) tries to goad Rocky into fighting the new #1 contender to his championship, Union Cane, in Tokyo. Duke sees this as a great opportunity with Rocky in such a vulnerable state, but with Adrian insisting on her husband's retirement, Rocky decides, at least for the time being, not to take the fight with Cane. Rocky, Adrian, and Adrian's brother Paulie return to their lavish Philadelphia home to find out that Paulie had Rocky unknowingly sign 'power of attorney' over to Balboa's accountant, who had, in turn, squandered all of Rocky's money on bad business deals and disappeared (it is also revealed the accountant had not paid Rocky's income taxes in 6 years). As a result, Rocky immediately decides to take the fight against Cane to earn money. However, the years of fighting have taken a toll on him (especially the last one with Drago) and after a physical evaluation, it is determined that Rocky has suffered significant brain damage, and that he can no longer fight without further risking his health. Rocky is forced to vacate the championship (which Cane subsequently inherits by default) and move back into his old working-class Philadelphia neighborhood, where he and the family must try to start their lives over again. Now bankrupt, Rocky is humiliatingly forced to sell his house and watch all of his expensive belongings be auctioned off to the highest bidder. The only thing Rocky doesn't lose is Mickey's gym, which Mickey had willed to Rocky's son, Robert (making it untouchable to the IRS). Rocky then begins training boxers at Mickey's gym, Adrian gets her old job back at the pet store across the street and Paulie goes back to the meat packing plant. Things start to look up for them when Rocky meets a hungry young fighter from Oklahoma named Thomas "Tommy" Gunn and takes him under his wing. Training the young fighter gives Rocky a sense of purpose, and he slowly helps Tommy fight his way up the ladder to become a top contender. He eventually becomes so distracted with Tommy's training that he winds up neglecting his own son Robert, who becomes withdrawn and angry. He eventually falls in with the wrong crowd at school, and as a result he begins acting out at home. Tommy's impressive rise through the ranks catches the eye of Duke, who uses the promise of a title shot against Cane and Tommy's own resentment at being compared to his trainer to lure him away from Rocky. Duke pulls up outside the Balboa house with Tommy in tow, who has now been deceived into thinking that Rocky doesn't have his best interests in mind. When Rocky tries to convince his friend otherwise, an ungrateful Tommy drives off in a huff, leaving Rocky for good. As he watches Tommys car speed off into the night, his head suddenly pounds with nightmarish flashbacks of his fight with Drago. When Adrian attempts to comfort him, Rocky's frustrations finally boil over. He confesses that his life had meaning again when he was able to live vicariously through Tommys success. She reasons with him, telling him that Tommy never had his heart and spirit that it was something he could never learn. When this realization hits him, an emotional Rocky embraces his wife and they begin to pick up the pieces. After finding Robert hanging out on a street corner, Rocky apologizes to his son, and they mend their broken relationship. On January 1, 1990, Tommy wins the heavyweight title by knocking out Union Cane in the first round, but is booed by spectators throughout the fight and hounded by reporters afterward. They insist that Cane was nothing but a "paper champion", because Cane didn't win the title from Balboa. Therefore, the public would never consider Tommy the real champion unless he fights a worthy opponent. With Tommy enraged by the press's reaction, Duke, sensing an opportunity, tells Tommy that he needs to fight Rocky man to man, and settle once and for all who is the best. Duke and Tommy show up at a local bar to goad Rocky into accepting a fight; Rocky initially declines but after Tommy hits Paulie, Rocky agrees, but instead challenges Tommy to a street fight on the spot. Despite Duke's warnings to keep the fight in the ring, Tommy accepts the challenge. Despite gaining the upper hand early in the fight, Rocky is eventually beaten down by Tommy and is seemingly out for the count. His head once again pounds with hellish visions of the fight with Drago and Mickeys funeral. He then hears his old mentors voice urging him to get back in the fight, to go just "one more round". Rocky gets back up and, with his family and the entire neighborhood cheering him on, utilizes his vast street fighting knowledge to defeat Tommy, knocking him into the grill of a bus with his final blow. After the fight, Duke commends Rocky and tries to appeal to him, but Rocky has heard enough. Duke threatens to sue if Rocky touches him, but after a brief hesitation, Rocky punches him in the gut anyway, knocking him onto the hood of a car. The crowd cheers as the bankrupt Rocky shrugs and quips, "Sue me for what?". The next day, Rocky and Robert take a trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Rocky gives his son Rocky Marciano's cuff-link, given to him years ago as a gift from Mickey. The film ends with a shot of Rocky's statue looking out over Philadelphia.