Rocky IV (1985 film)

Wait, who won the Cold War again?

I don’t like movies about combat sports(“Karate Kid” doesn’t count). More specifically, I don’t like movies centered around boxing, MMA, or pretty much anything with a ring and a bell involved. I think they are barbaric and destructive. Now, if we can notch up the violence a lil’ bit, and start shooting people and blowing shit up, then count me in. But, as far as movies about fighting, that’s not my cup of repressed homosexuality. Speaking of which, I’m not a big fan of Sylvester Stallone or Dolph Lundgren, either. I also tend to pass on movies featuring gratuitous amounts of in your face patriotism(I’m looking at you two Bay & Bruckheimer). Lastly, there’s nothing more annoying than eye-rollingly obvious product placement. Every time it rears its fat, inappropriate face, it disrupts my suspension of disbelief, and makes me want to issue a lifetime ban on whatever product is being promoted. “Rocky IV” contains all of these painful elements. But, it’s still really fun to watch this movie.

You might ask : “But Justin, what about “Raging Bull”, “Million-Dollar Baby”, “Cinderella Man”, “Ali”, “Kickboxer”, “Gladiator”, or the other “Rocky” movies?” Yeah, I’ve seen ’em all. And while they have their moments here and there, those movies basically suck. The only other boxing movie that’s worth anything is “The Fighter”, but for very different reasons than why “Rocky IV” is entertaining. This film’s main source of entertainment comes from the lumbering Russian cliché, Ivan Drago. Dolph Lundgren supposedly beat out over 8,000 other auditioning actors to win the part. I guess the exhaustive search paid off, because I can’t imagine anyone else delivering the gem below….

From Rocky’s classic “Hearts on Fire” Ural Mountains training regimen, to the “No Easy Way Out” Lamborghini scene, this movie has some of the greatest 80’s musical montages of all time. Not to mention, Rocky IV features one of the first wonderfully talented robot actors in SICO. It should be noted that SICO was also a member of the S.A.G., and even toured with James Brown following the film’s release! That’s exciting enough for three more exclamation points!!!

And the award for the least stilted acting in Rocky IV goes to…. SICO!

Words can’t capture the hilarity of watching a film that was made with such seriousness, while at the same time submitting utterly preposterous premises. I don’t know how many direct hits to the face and/or solar-plexus real heavyweight boxers take during a 14-round fight. Shit, I’m not even sure boxing matches go up to 14 rounds. But, my best guess would be not very many blows get landed, and that’s if the fight even lasts more than 8 rounds. Also, probably 95% of the punches thrown are glancing blows or missed connections, not direct hits. In the final showdown bout between Rocky and Drago, there is an onscreen display of 402 direct hits(I actually counted). In fact, in just the first round alone, there are about 100 landed punches in two minutes of film time. 80 or so landed in round two. Then, the fight goes into a montage, and they kind of skip through the fight. But, we actually get to see 14 landed punches in round three. 5 in round four. 7 in round five. 14 in six. 16 in seven. 10 in eight. 17 in nine. 4 in ten. 7 in eleven. 18 in twelve. 12 in thirteen. And finally, a mind-blowing 88 in round fourteen!!! I think a safe assumption, based on the three rounds we got to see in their entirety, is that each round had an average of a about 90 punches. Which would mean this fight is presumed to have had about 1200-1300 landed punches. Hahahahahahaaaa. If that’s not American entertainment, then I don’t know what is.

Chopping the big Russian down with about 600-700 of these haymakers might do the trick.

In reality, a fight like this one would be over very quickly, and probably end with someone dying. Oh wait, I guess that did happen to Apollo Creed(Carl Weathers) at the beginning of the movie. So, maybe this whole thing is pretty realistic after all! I saw this film in the theater when I was 8 years old. Wow. Sorry, I’m just imagining my little brain trying to process this movie back in 1985. Maybe this is part of the reason why I have so many anger management issues. Then again, maybe this is why I kick so much ASS! I feel a chant coming on…  U S A ! U S A ! U S A !

Overall Rating : 7.8/10

– JA