Random Retcons and a Disappearing Robot
Two rather glaring retcons occurred in Rocky V (aka the most despised in all the series). First there was the issue of Paulie’s disappearing robot. Yes you read that right. At one point in the franchise there was actually a friggin’ robot. We’re referring of course to this relic of cheesy 80’s movie technology…
Although Paulie’s infamous b-day robot was given far too much screen time in Rocky IV, its ridiculous existence was completely ignored in Rocky V. We didn’t even get the privilege of seeing it auctioned off when the Balboa family went broke (damn). Secondly, there was the odd addition of Mickey, Rocky’s deceased manager, giving him a golden glove necklace apparently sometime during the events of the first film in an emotional flashback.
While it was awesome to see Burges Meredith return in his iconic role, it was rather unnecessary to cram in the plot device / precious gift storyline. The necklace mysteriously appeared in Rocky’s possession only in that movie; confusingly it was previously seen in the possession of Apollo Creed in an earlier movie.
The Skewed Rocky Timeline
Attempting to sort out the timeline of the Rocky saga has driven many a fan Jack Nicholson-like insane. We refuse to even go into too much detail on this issue as we get no enjoyment out of torturing our readers (kidding - we get lots of enjoyment out of it).
Here’s the best we can figure regarding Rocky’s timeline…
Rocky I (Released in 1976) Took place in 1975-76 Rocky II (Released in 1979) Took place in 1976-77 Rocky III (Released in 1982) Took place in 1981 (see the date on Mickey’s grave) Rocky IV (Released in 1985) Apparently took place in 1981 as well since it immediately followed the events of part III Rocky V (Released in 1990) Amusingly this flick could also take place in 1981 considering it began right after the fight with Ivan Drago in Russia. Rocky Balboa (Released in 2006) At this point we gave up but it was obviously many years later.
One issue with the time line is that characters often refer directly to events and gave exact numbers of years which contradict other movies. For example, it's mentioned in Rocky III that he was champ for three years, which sort of made sense however when Mickey passed away his grave marker was dated 1981. Technically, it should have read 1979 or 1980 since Rocky won the title sometime in 1977. To make matters worse, Mickey’s gym is later mentioned as being willed to Rocky’s son in 1982.
Rocky IV and V were even bigger problems because in terms of the storyline they were supposed to take place one after the other. However, many years had clearly passed between filming and actors have a bad habit of aging. It’s hard to dispute the fact that Rocky V is obviously a 90’s movie which even features some early 90’s hip-hop and fashions. Another major issue which confused and muddled the series timeline was Rocky’s continually aging son. We decided that particular issue deserved it’s very own entry…
Prepare for a mindf**k…..
Rocky’s Rapidly Aging Son
First let’s take another quick glance at our Rocky timeline. Notice how wacky things got when taking into account the addition of little Rocky Jr…
Rocky I - Took place in 1975-76, Rocky Jr. was not yet born. Rocky II - Took place in 1976-77, Infant Rocky Jr. was born and played by Seargeoh Stallone. Rocky III - Took place in 1981, Rocky Jr. was played by Ian Fried and was only 4 or 5. Rocky IV - Apparently took place in 1981 as well, however Rocky Jr. was played by Rocky Krakoff and was inexplicably 9 years old. Rocky V - Also took place in the early 1980’s, but Rocky Jr. was played by Sage Stallone and somehow had morphed into a 14 year old teenager. Rocky Balboa - Rocky Jr. was played by Milo Ventimiglia who was in his 20’s.
If you bothered to sort through any of that trivial nonsense we’re betting you are as confused as we are. Now imagine how jarring it is to sit through the films consecutively and witness Rocky’s son rapidly aging between movies and defying all logic. Not to mention the fact that he was played by a different actor in each flick as well. While we could overlook Rocky’s son aging fast in parts III and IV, in the fifth entry it was like a giant elephant in the room...a giant time traveling elephant that sang and danced. It was mind boggling to think that Rocky left for Russia in part IV, said goodbye to his 9 year old son and was then greeted in the sequel by a full grown teenager. Why not simply have shown Rocky arriving home, not had his son present and then simply stated “4 years later” and proceeded on with the story? It was like Stallone just said “screw it, I want to do a flick with my son, the script is already written and whoever doesn’t like it can kiss my a**.”
Perhaps the best way to reconcile all of the previously mentioned continuity issues, retcons, timeline problems and goofs is to simply imagine that the Rocky flicks are presented through Rocky’s perspective. So the fact that events are confused, his son ages in dog years, injuries are forgotten and a moronic robot goes missing are all the cumulative effect of several blows to the head resulting in a distorted view of his own life story.
Flaws and jokes aside, the Rocky movies still rock. If they didn’t, people wouldn’t still be running up the steps that Stallone made famous…
- - Paulie’s Instant Weight Loss in Rocky II: http://www.wearysloth.com/Gallery/ActorsY/18864-27304.gif http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/1487/funtimes.jpg http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/1438/r1r2.jpg
- - Rocky’s Varying Intelligence: http://img256.imageshack.us/img256/7757/39095272.jpg http://www.montrealfilmjournal.com/dat/pic/M0000446.jpg http://img573.imageshack.us/img573/7295/aaaaaaip.jpg
- - Forgotten Injury Plots: http://cdn.screenrant.com/wp-content/uploads/the-expendables-sylvester-stallone-rocky-iv.jpg
- - Random Retcons and a Disappearing Robot: http://starsmedia.ign.com/stars/image/article/864/864630/roboocd-paulies-robot-20080404010700556.jpg http://futuroscopy.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/rocky.jpg http://img705.imageshack.us/img705/2673/necklacec.jpg
- - The Skewed Rocky Timeline: http://img718.imageshack.us/img718/2820/aghhhh.jpg
- - Rocky’s Rapidly Aging Son: http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/420/saywhaaaa.jpg http://img2.timeinc.net/ew/dynamic/imgs/060321/10505__rocky_l.jpg