“R” is for Rocky IV (1985)
etirement” is not a word that The Italian Stallion likes very much. Despite his growing age and injuries from the previous fights in Rocky, Rocky II and Rocky III, Sylvester Stallone deemed it necessary to give us all a fourth installment of the highly successful boxing franchise.
Set in the height of the 80s, Rocky IV is all about the money and showing it all off. Of course, when it comes down to it, money is not the be all and end all and there are lessons that we can all learn about doing the right thing.
Rocky Balboa (Stallone) has really been through the mill now. He has taken on Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) twice, staged an amazing comeback against Clubber Lang (Mr. T) and he has been enjoying his retirement from the sport. When Apollo decides that he is strong enough to take on a titan of a boxer from the USSR called Ivan Drago played by Dolph Lundgren, he asks Rocky to be in his corner when the bell rings for each round. There are some drastic comparisons to be made between the two boxers and Drago uses the latest in training technology, including drug enhancements to become the most powerful boxer on the planet. Apollo, unfortunately hasn’t lost his cockiness and it will see him get into a lot of trouble come fight night.
I love this movie. For me, it is the best of the entire series of movies. A great story, a great soundtrack and some really good boxing sequences. As with any Rocky movie, we always know who is going to win, but I just find the whole film really entertaining and the final fight is an epic piece of film making. Rocky has to make some tough choices in this movie but ultimately they will work out for him in the end.
Lundgren plays the bad guy fantastically and really shows off what he had to offer the action movie genre back in the day. In fact, both Stallone and Lundgren were at the top of their physique at this point in time. Not so much now when we look at films like The Expendables, but they are a lot older now and I guess the steroids have stopped working by now… This is a movie that I have in my “Keep Folder” on my hard drive and despite not watching it recently, I have caught it sa few times on the television and always at the start of the final showdown between the main characters.
The music is cracking in this film and features a number of tracks by Survivor at key moments of the film, and of course what Rocky film would be complete without the obligatory montage scene. There is more than one in this film, so we get much more bang for our buck, and why not I say. If you haven’t seen it, put it on your list or your Netflix queue, or however you get your movies and watch it; Rocky IV didn’t make $300M from a mere $28 budget for nothing you know 😉
Fun Fact: According to Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren and Carl Weathers really did not get along and got into an altercation during filming. Lundgren threw Weathers across the ring before it was broken up.