REVIEW: Rocky V: Director’s Cut (1990) – ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Rocky V: Director’s Cut (1990)

Rocky V was always like the hangover from the party that was Rocky IV.  It’s depressing and there’s a lot of irritable shit in it (Sage Stallone).  In recent years though, it has grown on me.  I’m starting to like it just as much, if not more than Rocky Balboa (2006).  And I’ve probably isolated the reason behind that – I can barely remember the name of the opponent in Rocky VI, but I’ll always remember Tommy Gunn.  He had a touch of Clubber (Lang) in him, he did have charisma, whereas Tarver is basically a piece of furniture who appears at the third act of the last movie.  Rocky V is an underrated movie, but that’s not saying much considering that it is one of the most shat on movies of all time.  It is just ‘okay’.  Considering that, I thought there might be added value in the unreleased Director’s Cut (there often is with these rough prints) and that it might edge out Rocky Balboa or Rocky V Theatrical.  Well, it doesn’t.

A point to clear up first – Rocky does not die at the end of the Director’s Cut.  It was intended to be that way, where after enduring the beating of his life from Drago, Gunn finishes him off in the street and Rocky dies in the arms of Adrian.  Stallone had that written out, and the fight went differently (more on that below). There are three main additional scenes in this cut, one where Balboa reassures his son that he is not seriously ill, an intimate scene with Adrian and a scene with ‘Little Marie’, now a prostitute, kinda funny when you weigh that up against the story of Rocky VI.  It’s not hard to see why these scenes were cut – they’re just depressing an already sour movie even further.  There are other minor differences here and there, a few changes in dialogue/angles etc.  One improvement is the soundtrack – it uses Conti’s score and the 80’s pop from Rocky IV instead of the rap shit.

The fight scene in Rocky V is fucking underrated.  It was choreographed by Terry Funk, and pro wrestlers know how to choreograph better than anyone. The Director/Funk did a nice job on it.  Not an amazing job, but a nice job.  I mean, compared to today’s spazzed out Nolan/Greengrass gibberish, this stuff is gold!  Gunn was a pretty good bad guy too, people often forget he was nowhere near his prime and just came out of a Championship Bout minutes earlier when he challenged Rocky.  

He was a good fighter and, like him or not, put up a stiff fight.  He was just young.  Anyway, like I said above, these types of things can often be superior in rough form/screener format – see my review of Hard Target: Director’s Cut – but that is not the case here.  The fight in this version is most definitely inferior.  It is by comparison sedate, devoid of adrenaline and feels like shit from a TV movie, Tommy is less of a threat and there’s too much gassy dialogue.  The theatrical version flows better.  Having said that, one good area of the movie is the training montage.  It’s different than the theatrical version.  As Rocky’s protégé, Gunn looks much more dangerous, more like a ‘wrecking machine’, indeed almost reminiscent of Lang’s training scenes in Rocky III.  Probably the only cool difference out there, coincidentally using the Rocky IV montage music for added manliness.

In a nutshell, extra mumbling and sentiment.  And not necessarily the positive type of the older movies.  ‘The kid’ is also as annoying as ever.



  1. Austrian Oak

    January 31, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Now that they restarted the franchise it would be great to see Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago again in a future movie.

  2. Jimmy Smith

    January 31, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    Even with the added scenes you’ve mentioned. It is still the worst of the Rocky movies. I prefer the 6th entry as a better ending than 5. Like you said it just sounds even more depressing than it already is and yes that doesn’t remove the fact Stallone’s son is pretty damn annoying as an actor. Creed was surprisingly solid and i like the direction of story and where they took it, i was worried but it did rise above expectations id give it at least a 7.5 .

    • Mucho Macho

      February 1, 2016 at 3:01 am

      I love “Rocky Balboa” & I think the movie is quite underrated.
      Even though “Creed” was solid i felt they rehashed a lot of stuff from “Balboa”. I think still “Balboa” was the perfect ending.

  3. Mucho Macho

    January 31, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    I have never seen the director’s cut of “Rocky V”, always wanted too..If anyone has a link..hook a brother up👊

  4. Mucho Macho

    January 31, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    I as well grew to love “Rocky V” more & more over the years.
    Tommy Morrison in his first acting job did a great job at portraying the kid that goes from student/friend to enemy. You could tell he admired Rocky & even cared about him but early on he showed signs of insecurities and hidden anger that a man like George Washington Duke could figure out how to manipulate down the line.
    I generally think that Tommy Morrison could have had a career in acting if he chose to do so buddy’s talk with boxing and for a while he was successful but his crazy lifestyle, let him to contact the HIV virus hence his downward spiral.
    A sad case indeed.

  5. Mucho Macho

    February 1, 2016 at 12:00 am

    Since Rocky 7 it’s titled “Creed”
    I think we should refer to Rocky V as “Gunn”

  6. Barney Ross

    February 1, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    For some reason, the fight at the end of Rocky 5 (tommy vs Rocky) is better than anything in Rocky 6 and Creed… maybe Rocky 5 is the most hated but it’s more entertaining than Creed.

    Creed had no Paulie so it failed. It was also kind of a remake of Rocky 5 but instead of Tommy it was Creed’s son.

    • jim

      February 1, 2016 at 10:47 pm

      You have disgraced yourself again .

      • Barney Ross

        February 2, 2016 at 3:44 pm

        The question is who are you fucking piece of shit and who liked your shit comment, shitface!

        Fuck off retarded faggot.

        • jim

          February 2, 2016 at 4:49 pm

          Barney…are you homosexual? It’s OK if you are but you should know manlymovies doesn’t mean what you think it means.

  7. Cal

    February 2, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    I detest Rocky V. I watched it for the first time right around the time Rocky Balboa came out, and hated it. I watched it again a few years later, and still hated it. I watched it again when I got the Blu-ray set, I still hated it. That’s three tries I’ve given it, years apart. I hate hate hate this fucking movie, Sly even said he’d give it 0/10.

    Rocky VI and Creed are heartfelt, moving, well-acted and well made, whereas Rocky V is treacly, depressing, poorly-acted, unbelievable dramatic turd, and a stain on the Rocky franchise.

    • Jimmy Smith

      February 4, 2016 at 4:38 am

      Well put.

  8. Barney Ross

    February 2, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Rocky 1-4 = masterpiece, fuck the rest!!

  9. Andrew Steele

    February 3, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    If I may ask where can one obtain this version of the film

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