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In 1976, a phenom was born. By now we are all aware of the story of how
Stallone wrote the screenplay for Rocky in three days after watching a fight
between an extreme underdog and a highly favoured champ. Stallone was a
nobody back then yet he still stood his ground and didn't sell out to the
producers until they promised him the title role. The rest they say is
history. Well 9 years later, after three Rocky films, in my opinion comes
the best one. I realize that Rocky was all story and then a climatic boxing
match and that is what won the film the Oscar. And even though I can admit
that this film is not as concerned with character developement as it is with
training montages and bulging muscles, it is by far and away the most
entertaining film of the 5. And that is what I enjoy about the film. I
love that Rocky IV has some of the best training montages ever filmed. I
love that it has the heart of a lion when it shows Rocky scaling a mountain
that you know damn well he shouldn't be able to. And I absolutely love the
boxing match at the end of the film. This was completely choreographed by
Stallone and he and Dolph Lundgren boxed for real for about 75% of the
match. Stallone felt that it needed some authenticity so that was the way
to do it. And if you think Robert De Niro is an impressive method actor,
try this fact on for size. When filming the boxing match, some of the
scenes were so real that Stallone was rushed to hospital because his heart
was actually pushed up and his ribcage was slightly shattered. So when you
watch that match at the end, just know that what you are seeing is not
exactly choreography and trick camera work. They did the best job they
could to keep the look of the fight as real as possible. And I think this
is the best boxing match ever filmed, with all due respect to Raging Bull.
Stallone was in the shape of his life in this year as he filmed Rocky and Rambo back to back and it shows. I have never seen a more sculpted man in the movies than he was here. And I think that added to his superman persona. If you notice in all the Rocky films, he grows a little each time. And that also adds to the enjoyment of the film.
Rocky IV is different than Rocky, there is no doubt. And as much as I love the first one, it doesn't come close to entertaining me as much as this one does. Rocky IV starts fast and it ends hard and in between we are blessed with a great soundtrack and a beautiful montage of all the Rocky films to Robert Tepper's "There's No Easy Way Out" And it is here that even though some will say that Stallone has substituted real human emotion with an MTV ersatz video, I think it works well. There is nothing about this film that I didn't enjoy and if you forget what the experience of watching this one is like, I suggest that you rent it now and take a look at it. And try to remember what it was like when you first saw this film back in the winter of 85. I remember I was in Kokomo Indiana visiting family for Christmas. My mom and I walked into a packed theater and you want to talk about a place erupting like a volcano, then this was the place. When Rocky finally hits Drago to cut him over the eye and Duke yells " he's cut, he's cut! " the crowd went into a frenzy. And you can look no further than that as to why the Rocky films were so popular. It doesn't matter if you are Canadian, American, Portuguese, Polish or Dutch or whatever, Rocky appeals to all of us. Because all of us have been the underdog at some time in our lives and we love to watch him and perhaps live vicariously through him. That is the beauty of Rocky. If Rocky can do it then dammit so can I!
When the movie ended on that cold night back in 1985, and people were filtering out to their cars for the drive home, I swear I could hear the crowd chanting his name, as did the millions..... and millions of the Rock's fans.
" Rocky! Rocky! Rocky!"
Here's another low-brained but very entertaining "Rocky" movie with one
more interesting villain. Instead Of "Apollo Creed" or "Mr. T.," we now
have "Ivan Drago,"(Dolph Lundgren) a giant Russian who is more like a
machine. He's "indestructable" (and on steroids, too, and unlike some
baseball slugger, he admits it!). He has the latest in technology,
nutrition, etc., but you just know the much-smaller disadvantaged hero
"Rocky Balboa" (Sylvester Stallone) will somehow find a way to chop
this "Goliath" down.
Minute-for-minute, this might be the most entertaining of all the Rocky films, and looks good on DVD despite some graininess in the first five minutes. Rocky's wife "Adrian" (Talia Shire) never looked better: mature and pretty; the gruff and profane manager played Burgess Meredith is gone and the repellent obnoxious slob "Paulie" (Burt Young) has only a few lines.
This is the ultimate "David vs. Goliath" tale in every aspect and the final bout - held in Russia - breaks the all-time Rocky record for most punches ever thrown at two fighters. Of course, any real-life human would have been knocked cold about 50 times had they suffered the blows "Rocky" did in this fight!
This is a real flag-waving film with Rocky draping the Stars and Stripes around his shoulders. It's a totally unrealistic story but, all of these in the series were similar, credibility-wise, so just go along with it and enjoy the story. It's only an hour-and-a-half and story literally flies by.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Oh Man I loved this one when it came out...the death of Apollo Creed,
Stallone standing up for Reagan America in his quest to hammer the Evil
Empire's steroided up UberMan Drago. You don't for a second actually
that Stallone could kayo Lundgren(Dolph is 6-5-220 plus, a kick boxing
champ-Sly 5-9ish, 190) but who cares?! It was great to watch them whale
at one another in Russia like that, surrounded by 10,000 Red Guards, a
lookalike and Brigette Neilson there....
Stallone really took to the MTV style of editing in III and does it again here, with the training montages, Survivor/James Brown/Robert Tepper tunes, etc. very well. I personally enjoyed the contrasts-see Stallone chop wood. See Drago pump iron. See Stallone run acrost a snowy field. See Drago run on an Olympic treadmill. See Stallone do crunches while half-suspended from a loft. See Drago bend every concievable advanced weight machine outta shape as he flexes and trains. See Stallone eat his spinach. See Drago take his Steroids....
Basically you know going in, Drago has no chance, the old David vs. Goliath thing all over. And you know when Stallone re-does his run up the Phillie steps thing again, this time up a mountain, losing the KGB in the process, that he is gonna win or die, plain as that.
The fight is as ratcheted up and brutal as they come, really overkill, over-done, I think that Stallone is knocked down something like 8 times, in truth he would have been TKO'd or put into a coma by the 3rd round. And Drago, too, woulda had to suck soup through a straw and filter for 5 weeks himself...Realism isn't the game here, though. Fun is, excitement, getting caught up in the moment, all of it. This film just could not have been made at anytime save the cold War '50s or '80s. Audiences to intuned to the grunge/ironic/'Whatever'/Friends crap of the first half the '90s especially would have laughed this off the screen or gone to bed. Audiences in '85-86...this is what they, WE wanted, and we got, big time....
Things to not worry about in this film, though are debits to the Rocky IV viewing experience--same old, same old performances/roles for Adrian and Paulie. They were brought along for the ride once again, same as Scottie and Bones were for the 19th time in the way too many Trek sequels. And you can't say Brigette got anywheres in Hollywood on her talent, ya know? Just can't see it. Camera loved her, but....
Anyways--as you can tell I ate this one up, and still like it, its my second fave Rocky film.
So, what is the Gazzo-2 rating?
***1/2 outta ****, Cartoony to the max, (Is Not Documentary!)-much fun.
This film gets my blood pumping, with a new angle on it the Soviets vers the Americans. Rocky, must go to the Soviet Union to fight the Soviet champ after his friend is killed. Ivan Drago is portrayed as what the Soviet system can create, and Rocky a symbol of American grit has to defend the American way, and correct a personal mistake. This film is directed so well that it gets my blood pumping, the fight scenes, and personal dialogue is incredible. You leave this film on a high; Rocky, Rocky 3 and 4 know how to entertain, and I would not miss them for the world.
The sheer effort Dolph (Ivan Drago), Sylvester (Rocky Balboa) and Carl
(Apollo Creed) must have gone into training for this film must have
been truly awesome. They all look amazingly fit and sculptured. I think
more so than any current modern day boxer.
Kudos to Dolph who in almost his first major feature film (his first was View to a Kill) made, at least for me, a major impact. Despite his lack of dialog "I must break you" is right up there with Schwarzenegger's "I'll be back". He looked amazingly strong - a freak almost - just as the plot intended. Scary. He looked even taller than the 6 inch difference between him and Stallone (Lundgren 6'4", Stallone 5'10").
I would think that difference in height/reach would make him nigh on impossible to defeat if this were REAL. Of course it is a movie. Dolph is the highlight and was sad to see Apollo's demise (but at least it shut him up). The writers must have based Apollo's character on Muhammed Ali surely! Am currently watching Rocky V and is interesting so far!
Its the foundations to who I am today. Had I never scene it I would of never been inspired to pick up the weights & become a World champion bodybuilder! This is my personal favourite but not the best movie of the series.I am undecided between Rocky 1 & 2. Sly Stallone's life has just as been inspiring as his legendary character. He's had many ups & downs in his career & always prevailed. When he fist wrote Rocky he wanted to play the character & the studios laughed & Sly proved them wrong. Then 30 years later he wanted to finish the series with Rocky Balboa & the studios laughed at him again especially at 60! Sly proved them wrong again. We all need a modern day hero & Rocky is one of them. Sly has inspired people in the 70's, 80's, 90's & now the millennium. What other actor has done that? I'm sure he will do the same again with John Rambo!
Rocky IV really stood out from the rest of the Rocky films to me, with the whole America versus Russia ordeal. Now it has been mentioned by other critics that this is inaccurate, but who really cares??? The point is that you really get to the point where you want Sly to kick Dragos butt in the ring. I enjoyed the training montage, and the boxing scene was so entertaining for me. And with the Russian leaders, and the Russian public standing up and cheering and clapping for Rocko.. a bit corny but so great.Talia shire in my opinion is at her best in this one out of all the other ones; she seems more confident and easier to get along with her character. And one of the most dramatic scenes to hit cinema was the death of Carl Weathers(Apollo Creed). The idea of fighting for the death of his friend, and for himself is just so inspirational. It just makes you want to jump up and get in the ring to help rocko. Out of a perfect score of 10, i gave this one a 7.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The fourth Rocky movie retreats into a realm of fantasy that has to be
seen to be disbelieved. It is by far the dumbest movie in the series,
with a plot that defies credibility, and a closing boxing match that
would surely prove fatal for both fighters if a contest like it were to
take place in real life. What the film has in its favour is a sense of
courage in its own absurdity. It's like everybody involved knows that
they're working on something ludicrous, but they give it their all
anyway the actors, the cinematographer, the composer, the editor and
the director all pull in the same direction, united in some kind of
cheerful conviction that they can make an enjoyable movie from this
silliest of premises.
Life is good for boxing champion Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). He has a mansion, he has money, he has incredible public support and he has the all-important heavyweight champion of the world title. But news is spreading fast that there might be a better boxer on the face of the planet in the shape of Russian goliath Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren). Drago comes to America for an exhibition match against Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), once Rocky's greatest adversary and now Rocky's greatest friend. The match is supposed to be a straightforward contest for Creed, giving him a chance to reassert himself as a top fighter, but it goes terribly wrong when Drago literally pulverises his opponent and kills him in the ring. Distraught at the death of his buddy, Rocky agrees to fight Drago. The venue: Moscow. The date: December 25th. In the middle of desolate northern Russia, Rocky trains for the fight of his life against a near-superhuman opponent. Not only is the honour of his dead friend at stake, but so is his life . not to mention the hopes of every man, woman and child from the free world!
It seems kind of wrong for a Rocky movie to go all political on the audience, but Rocky IV indirectly does just that. Rocky's closing speech is a cringe-worthy plea for tolerance and change amongst the different societies of our world, and if I hadn't heard it with my own ears I would scarcely have believed anyone could put such infantile politics on film. The movie is much better when it concentrates on the sport aspects, especially the pulsating training sequences. With rapid-fire editing and rousing music, these parts of the film are quite inspirational and make you want to get out of your chair and put yourself through your paces in a gym as soon as possible! The final fight itself is a pretty exciting sequence but, given the fact that the film shows us that Drago has an impossibly strong punching-power, one finds it rather hard to believe that Rocky could still be standing after fifteen seconds let alone fifteen rounds. Rocky IV is totally unrealistic, totally simple-minded . and totally entertaining if you look upon it as a guilty pleasure!
I can remember seeing this before it was released in England, as a
friend managed to get a copy from America. I'd always been a fan of the
Rocky series so I was really looking forward to this & I wasn't
disappointed! I must have seen the film about 10 times before it was
released in Endland, then it was about 3 or 4 times seeing it at the
cinema (back when this was released I would only have been about 6, so
my parents must have been annoyed at taking me to the same film!). As
soon as it was released on video I managed to obtain a copy, which
probably lasted about 6 months. I also purchased the album, which
contains one of the best montage songs ever ("No Easy Way Out") and
still have it to this day! I must have been through at least 10 copies
on video & one DVD.
Obviously, the death of Apollo was heartbreaking to me, but Drago just seemed like a monster and I was eagerly awaiting the East Meets West clash in Russia, as Rocky avenges his friends death.
Such an amazing film and way better than Rocky 5 (and, in my opinion, the other films as well) so please check this out - I don't think it's dated well, but to those around in the 80's you should definitely watch this film as soon as possible!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Never, ever should a movie involve politics. The first 3 Rocky movies
were great (the first was awesome) but with this one the producers
decided they wanted more money and so they used the political war
between USA and USSR to attract the audience.
The way they make Russians look is ridiculous (it's so bad that is not good, it's so bad you laugh because how bad it is - when the Russians synchronized applause) and flags everywhere(at a time I thought that I would see my countries flag - Romania, with so many flags in there).
Further more they shouldn't have killed Apollo, I mean in the third movie Mickey died and now another key character dies. After he died I said to myself "Damn, I should have foreseen that".
And "Russia" really doesn't look like Russia(where are the Reagan wanted posters?). But really, I realize that they could not film in Russia, but they could at least try to make it look like it was filmed there(some orthodox churches, some people from village should have said something to Rocky in Russian, things like this).
The last complain I have is that the movie feels like a joke: Apollo's entrance to the match, Drago's lines like "You will lose"(or something like that). It's so cheesy, actually it's to cheesy.
All in all Rocky 4 doesn't compare to the masterpiece that was Rocky or even to Rocky 2 & 3 which were great movies. To much politics. I know it's a propaganda movie(yes, that's what it is. Look for the definition of propaganda and compare to this movie), but it fails even at this. The Rambo series (2 & 3 and recently "John Rambo") were also propaganda movies but they were awesome(actually they were so bad they were awesome).
Anyway if you want to laugh a bit you can watch this movie, but don't have the same expectations you had before watching each of the first 3 Rocky movies.
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