Countdown to CREED: The ROCKY Saga

Rocky (1976, John Avildsen) 92
[ review ]

Rocky II (1979, Sylvester Stallone) 54
[ This first “Rocky” sequel is watchable enough, if only for the Italian Stallion’s easygoing charisma, plus the always enjoyable performances by Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed and Burgess Meredith as Mickey. And then there’s the always rousing training montages, that amazing score, plus the actual fight at the end… But I have trouble with how the bulk of the flick is such a bummer, struggling as it does to pummel Rocky back into being a no-good nobody. Dramatically, the best films in the series have to be the original and the surprisingly affecting “Rocky Balboa,” with “Rocky IV” being the most entertaining by far. Your mileage may vary, etc. ]

Rocky III (1982, Sylvester Stallone) 56
[ One of the lesser movies in the franchise, this third flick deals with cheap melodrama involving Paulie, Mickey and Adrienne, fights with goofy opponents (Hulk Hogan and Mr. T), and the homoerotic training Apollo Creed puts Rocky through. It’s still watchable enough, but beyond that badass Eye of the Tiger song and the general idea it embodies (“So many times, it happens too fast / You change your passion for glory / Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past / You must fight just to keep them alive / It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the fight”, etc.), it’s really not all that good. ]

Rocky IV (1985, Sylvester Stallone) 100!
[ review ]

Rocky V (1990, John Avildsen)
[ I somehow never saw it. I’ve been told to pretend it didn’t exist… ]

Rocky Balboa (2006, Sylvester Stallone) 72
[ review ]