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'Rocky V' (1991)
Family Ties: Sylvester Stallone and his son, Sage Stallone, both star (with dad writing)
Why it didn't work: If we were putting together a list of nadirs to long-running franchises, you very well might find "Rocky V" on it. Written by Sylvester Stallone and with John G. Avildsen returning to the director's chair, the film could have been a beautiful coda for the series. It isn't. The story finds Rocky battling a diagnosis of brain damage, losing his fortune, and trading quality time with his son (played by his actual son, Sage Stallone) for training time with a young fighter named Tommy Gunn (Tommy Morrison). The only father-son relationship that even half works in the movie is the one between Tommy and Rocky. The relationship between Rocky Sr. and Rocky Jr. comes off as wooden and entirely forced. The idea that Rocky doesn't get that he's completely ignoring his son in favor of his protégé is laughable at best and almost as bad as the numerous disgusted glances Rocky Jr. throws at his oblivious father. Even the reconciliation doesn't work, and don't get us started on the street fight conclusion. You don't have to love "Rocky Balboa," but you have to be happy that the franchise didn't end with "Rocky V." It isn't just that Rocky and his family deserved better, we all deserved better.