Rocky IV (1985)

DVD Cover (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Reissue)
Genres: Boxing, Drama, Political Drama, Sports Drama
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Sylvester Stallone Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone Sylvester Stallone
Talia Shire Talia Shire
Burt Young Burt Young
Carl Weathers Carl Weathers
Brigitte Nielsen Brigitte Nielsen
Movie Connections:
> Rocky (1976)
> Rocky II (1979)
> Rocky III (1982)
> Rocky IV (1985)
> Rocky V (1990)
> Rocky Balboa (2006)
> Rocky XXX: A Parody Thriller (2011)
> Creed (2015)
> Creed II (2018)

6.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Nirrad
Added: June 27, 2008
Everyone knew this was coming. Whenever a movie does extremely well in the box office, we all know another one is on the way. Producers don't care what the story is as long as it is at least relevant to the earlier entries. Rocky III made more cash than the first Rocky, and far surpassed part 2. So now we have Rocky IV. But ask yourself, what on earth can the story be about this time? We had him fight for the title and lose. Have a rematch and win, then go on to defend the title numerous times. Lose the title yet again only to quickly retain it. Well Rocky IV has nothing to do with the heavyweight championship, it has to do with a fight for the love of your country, and friends.

Once again Rocky IV gives us the last five minutes from Rocky III to refresh our memory. Rocky finally comes home to celebrate Paulie's (Burt Young) birthday, and gives him quite the gift. Cue the cheesy 80's techno music, and bring on the robot! That's right, Rocky bought Paulie a working robot for his birthday. By this point of the film you know this is vastly different than the earlier Rocky films. At least Paulie follows up with his usual witty comments to make the scene at least tolerable. Meanwhile, giant Russian boxer Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) arrives to the United States with his manager and wife Ludmilla (Brigitte Nielsen) where they plan to have an exhibition fight against none other than Rocky. They believe that Drago can easily defeat Rocky as they claim Drago is the perfect athlete. This is all broadcast on T.V and former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) tunes in from his home. He is instantly jealous of all the attention Rocky and receiving and suggests that he should be the one to fight Drago. After much anticipation the fight takes place in Las Vegas. Although Drago is not amused with all the patriotic mumbo jumbo that Apollo represents, and intends to take this fight very seriously. Almost instantly, Apollo takes a devastating beating from Drago in the ring. Rocky tells him that he should end the fight, but Apollo thinks otherwise. It appears Apollo underestimated the strength of Drago and is literally beaten to death inside the ring. Rocky knows now that he must fight Drago not only for his friend, but for his country as well. Cue montage that features selected scenes from the earlier Rocky films. During a press conference it is noted that the fight will not be in America, but in Russia. Rocky then flies to Russia with Paulie and his trainers. Cue training montage. Adrian (Talia Shire) is stuck at home fearing for Rocky's life so she decides to fly to Russia to accompany him in case anything were to go wrong. Cue yet another training montage. At last, we are at the big day. The fight is ready to take place between two boxers who are fighting for their country, friends and their selves.

I can sum this movie up with one word - montage. Seriously, this movie is basically just montage after montage. There are a total of 3 montages in 1 hour and 27 minutes, with each montage at least three and a half minutes long. But honestly, I'm not really complaining. Coming into Rocky IV you shouldn't really expect a great plot, you should just expect an entertaining movie. As for that, I have to say that it does deliver. This movie entertained the hell out of me. While it did have a lot of montages, I found them all to be entertaining and they all had a catchy tune, which leads me to my next point. This is the only film in the franchise not to feature the traditional Rocky music. Instead Sly insisted that he uses cheesy poppy tunes to fill the spot. While they may be cheesy, I still find the songs extremely catchy. The performances may not be as great as they were in the past Rocky films, each cast member does their job. While not a great performance, Dolph Lundgren does a good job as Drago. From his facial expressions to the tone of his voice, he really does make you afraid of Drago. As for Brigitte Nielsen, she was just awful. I never liked her as an actor or a person anyways, but I at least gave her a shot in one of my favorite franchises. But she somehow screwed that up.

Next we have the fight, and it is probably the most over the top fight of all the Rocky films. Like one of the announcers says, it's a street fight. But like all the fights in Rocky, I also enjoyed this one. Actually, while completely unrealistic, I think this is my favorite fight. I just love the way the pound each other, and what each of them say in between rounds. It really does get my adrenaline flowing.

Besides its many faults and shortcomings, we at least have another enjoyable addition to this series. While it's not as good as the first three quality wise, I still find it better than 3, but again not as good as the first 2. Give this one a shot, but just don't go in expecting another Rocky I or II.

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