Critic Reviews



Based on 11 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Whereas Stallone with "Rambo" is messing around with real places and real events, in Rocky IV we all know that this is pure Hollywood, pure fantasy. And very well made Hollywood fantasy, indeed.
The film is a slugger that keeps hitting you with one obvious image after another. Funny thing, though: Obviousness is sometimes effective. If Rocky IV doesn't kill you, it'll conquer you.
Rocky IV is movie-making by the numbers. Even the climactic fight scene isn't as exciting as it should be, maybe because we know with a certainty born of long experience how it will turn out.
Beyond its visceral appeal, Rocky IV is truly the worst of the lot, though Stallone himself is more personable in this one and that helps.
The jingoism is blindingly awful, but by the time of the showdown, the film has descended into an unaware parody of itself.
The comforting sameness of all the ''Rockys'' and the overbearing star quality of Mr. Stallone in his lovable-lug incarnation may well make Rocky IV another hit. But when it flashes back to its antecedents, particularly to the original ''Rocky'' with its bashful heroine and self-effacing star, it becomes clear how bloated and hollow the story has become.
In this tetralogical effort, writer-director-star Stallone has succumbed to the old one-two of silliness and cynicism. [9 Dec 1985, p.92]
Rocky IV is a far cry from the delights (both large and small) of its illustrious original.
A scant hour and a half long, padded with clips from earlier Rocky pictures, adding nothing to his mythic, let alone human dimensions, it lacks even the primitive suspense and crude capacity to release underdog emotions that permitted its predecessors to conquer one's better judgment.
This is grim and witless storytelling, and what makes it so depressing is that it hasn't improved by so much as a chemical trace since the days of the first "Rocky."

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