Rocky films rated….


With Creed III now on release and doing impressive business we took a look at the franchise that started it all and here’s the Rocky films rated from worst to best…….

Rocky films rated

  1. Rocky V (1990)

So we start with the least on our list of Rocky films rated. After the success of Rocky IV it would be five years before another film would appear. Unfortunately Rocky V was mot the film the fans were crying out for with the boxer having reluctantly retired from the ring and running Mickey’s gym he takes on a upcoming fighter who would become his protege – it was a story that would be repeated with the Creed spin off – but here the protégé would be Tommy Gunn played by real life heavyweight boxer, the late Tommy Morrison. Stallone’s own son Sage would also appear making his debut as Sly’s on screen son though he too would tragically pass away some years later aged only 36 from coronary disease. Original director John G Avildsen retuned to direct  from another script by Stallone. It was something of a lacklustre film with even Stallone himself rating it as ‘zero’ compared to the four previous films. His original idea was to have Rocky die in an ambulance but kicked the idea into touch. Instead the film died making only $119m meaning another film was unlikely although in the end 16 years later a sixth film would appear.

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  1. Rocky II (1979)

After the star making turn of the first film a sequel was greenlit and Stallone after the success of the first film gave him the clout to make his directorial debut with the film too. The sequel saw him face off again against Apollo Creed in a rematch. All the regulars appeared:  Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith and Stallone behind the camera did a competent job but the big bout of boxing was increasingly daft with Rocky pummelled almost to a pulp and yet still able to stay the distance and ultimately win. Perhaps why this pales into comparison is the boxing choreography with punches clearly missing their target and the following year when Scorsese’s Raging Bull was released with its brutally realistic and all too convincing punches that made baloney of those in Rocky II. And yet the film made $85m enough to prompt a third film.

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  1. Rocky III (1982)

That third film and fourth in our list saw Stallone in an iconic poster and again saw the regular cast return with Stallone again on writing and directing detail. This one bought a bit of enjoyably daft spectacle to the proceedings with Rocky in an exhibition bout with Hulk Hogan, an absolute giant of a man who made Stallone look like a muscle bound oompah—loompah in the ring. But his real adversary would be an angry rampaging Clubber Lang itching to fight Rocky for the title. The film introduced the world to Mr T a muscle bound mohicanned body builder whose first significant role this would be and shortly after would land his iconic role in TV series The A Team. He was an enjoyably pantomime like foe for Rocky in a story with a now recurring theme ( Rocky loses, Rocky regains his title in a rematch) and the film did well earning an Oscar nomination for the song Eye of the Tiger’ a track now as synonymous with the franchise as the Rocky theme tune ‘Gonna fly now. Earning $125m at the box office it guaranteed at least one more film.

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  1. Rocky Balboa (2006)

Sixteen years after Rocky V came a sixth and what would be final Rocky film that was as much a surprise to audiences as it probably was to Stallone whose on screen persona alongside Rambo was now indelibly aligned with him. Once again written and directed by Stallone this now saw Rocky thirty years after the first film coming out of retirement for a final fight against the reigning champ Mason Dixon. Played by Antonio Tarver who was 36 at the time of the film’s release whereas Stallone was 60! Yes, it did stretch credulity to breaking point but the film had a charm and an old school feel for the original and rounded off the franchise nicely even if it did stretch credulity and audiences warmed to a long belated sequel to the tune of $155m. It rightly bought Rocky’s career to an end as a fighter instead he would be resurrected as a trainer in the Creed spin off.

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  1. Rocky IV (1985)

Released at the height of the 1980’s , with Reaganism at its peak,  the ex-actor now President citing Rambo II as some sort of inspiration on how to deal with those pesky commies,  Rocky IV would indulge in full on patriotism with the boxer bloodied but unbowed and draped in the US flag having fought the evil ruskie Drago which introduced the world to Dolph Lundgren who, despite his man mountain muscular physique, was an extremely well educated man having gained a Masters in Chemical engineering but turned his attention to acting instead. He’d already appeared in Bond film ‘A View to a Kill’ but Rocky IV made him a star. Ludicrously jingoistic Rocky IV despite its villainous pantomime was immensely enjoyable even if it was now far removed from the drama of the original film and audiences lapped it up the tune of $300m making by far the most successful film in the whole franchise.

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  1. Rocky (1976)

Well of course with the Rocky films rated this always going to be the number one film. The story of the underdog was reflected in Stallone’s own career having appeared in a number of forgettable roles in equally forgettable films he wrote Rocky and studios were keen to buy the script but Stallone boxed clever with what many saw as a gamble refusing to sell the script unless he was allowed to play the lead role. The studios relented as the low budget drama was hardly going to break the bank. But audiences went wild for the sports drama enthused by an iconic performance epitomised by Rocky’s running up the Philadelpghia steps chased by cheering fans and children all to the soaring inspirational theme tune ‘Gonna fly Now’. The film was a break out hit earning $117m at the box office gaining 10 Oscar nominations including one for Stallone as Best Actor as well as Best Film putting it up against heavyweights Taxi Driver, Network, Bound for Glory and All the Presidents Men. What chance did this low budget drama stand? As it turns out every chance winning not only the Best Film Oscar but also Best Director for the late John G Avildsen and Best Editing too. It made Stallone a star, earned him kudos as a writer and a career of quite some longevity that would see him Oscar nominated again for the same role forty years later in the spin off film, ‘Creed’.

Are we right with the Rocky films rated? Let us know what you think…..

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