It was time for Sylvester Stallone to say "enough, already" to the boxing hero he plays in the popular Rocky film series, but instead Stallone kept the saga going by pushing Rocky into Rambo territory. The 1985 Rocky IV fi... more »nds the Italian stallion pitted against a seemingly unbeatable Russian monster named Drago (Dolph Lundgren) who lets his wife (Stallone's then-wife, Brigitte Nielsen) do all the talking. With a mighty punch, Drago has sent Rocky's former opponent and trainer Apollo Creed to an early grave, and the boxer responds with the ultimate challenge. Even the Russians are rooting for Rocky, so it's not hard to guess how the film ends. Despite Stallone's claims to the contrary, this installment was followed by Rocky V in 1990. --Jeff Shannon« less
"Move over, Reagan. Take a seat there, Gorbachev. After all, you guys were just politicians; we all know that the Cold War was won by none other than the Italian Stallion! Forget the missile silos, Star Wars, and glasnost: The 'Evil Empire' was brought to its knees by a southpaw heavyweight wearing red, white and blue trunks. It's all documented in ROCKY IV, for cryin' out loud.
In the fourth Rocky installment (this series has more sequels than my car payment coupon book) we find Rocky blissfully content in the twilight of his boxing career. He's got it all: great family, mansion, wealth, even a talking robot. Enter a genetic mutant fighting machine from the Soviet Union--exit ex-champ Apollo Creed, who bites the canvas during a rather nasty exhibition match. What's left to do? Why, challenge the chiseled Ivan Drago to a boxing match in Mother Russia, of course! And while Drago trains with state-of-the-art, high-tech gismo equipment, Rocky trains in a barn and a couple of snowdrifts in Siberia.
Works for me. Sort of.
Then it's showdown time, in Moscow, on Christmas Day, in front of a hostile, snarling crowd. Drago is twice Rocky's size, while the American fighter goes through fifteen rounds of imitating a bobble-head doll. But. . .in the end. . .there's no overcoming the heart of a champion. And then, a rousing speech--for peace.
Bring down the Berlin Wall.
ROCKY IV is a syrupy flick that entertains while simultaneously making the viewer wish Sly Stallone had quit this series while it possessed even a shred of credibility. Talia Shire mopes and cries, Burt Young is as annoying as ever, and Carl Weathers becomes a superficial caricature of his once-great Apollo Creed character. Dolph Lundgren and Brigitte Nielsen obviously had the same barber. But hey, the Cold War's over: now if we could just get Rocky to go to France. --D. Mikels
RINGS A BELL...
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 10/09/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In this 3rd sequel to the Oscar winning "Rocky", Rocky(Sylvester Stallone) goes to Russia to fight. Not to defend his title but to defend the honor of his friend and the American people. The opponent is the bigger than life Ivan Drago(Dolph Lundgren), who looks like he was chisled out of stone. In an exhibition fight Drago delivered a fatal blow to the Rock's old pal Apollo Creed.
Rocky leaves for Russia with Pauly(Burt Young) and Apollo's trainer, against the wishes of Adrienne(Talia Shire) who thinks Rocky will also meet his demise by the hands of this powerful giant they call "Death from above". He trains in remote part of Siberia, using the most primitive equipment, while Drago on the other hand has the use of the most technically advanced methods of training (and with the little help of some steroids.)
As always the faithful Adrianne has come around and has joined him there. The fight takes place with all of Russia in Drago's corner. The fight scenes are great, the crowd starts to warm to Rocky, and in the end (no matter who wins) we find that, people can change, and a fight between 2 men in a ring for sport is better than 2 countries fighting.
What really impressed me was the soundtrack of this film. It propelled the movie right along. We are even treated to a ringside performance by James Brown. The sound quality of this VHS (MGM/UA) is terrific in Dolby Surround and Hi Fi.
Added to the cast is Brigitte Nielsen who plays Drago's wife and for comic relief(besides Paulie) there is a talking robot. It was written and directed by Sylvester Stallone. If you're a die hard Rocky fan this would be a good addition to your collection.
The Ultimate Rocky Film With Compelling Life Messages
Denise Corcoran | Burlingame, CA | 02/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I disagree with most of the crtical reviews of this movie 150%! Not only was this movie my favorite Rocky film (YES, even more than the original Rocky), it is one of my all time favorite movies which I have seen dozens of times and NEVER grow old of it. So much so it became the inspiration of the main graphic on my business web site.
Why? For many reasons.
To me the Rocky theme never grows old. It is the classic "Hero's Journey." The underdog in life that is challenged to pull deep within, fight the inner "demons," connect with one's true strength and inner potential and triumph in the end.
What makes Rocky IV different and more potent in my mind is the contrast in themes. In this movie, Rocky is at the top of his game (in fact retire with all the trappings of success) and is forced to look deep within again but for a much deeper and more soul provoking reason. His best friend and original boxing contender -- Apollo Creed -- has lost his life in the boxing ring to the testerone-driven, freakish, goliath-like Russian boxing challenger. This castrophe forces Rocky to do some deep soul-searching about how "he sold his passion for glory." (from "The Eye of the Tiger" song).
How many people in the business world and life in general, sacrifice their passion for glory?! Probably 95+%. Being a business coach, I constantly look for movies, books, stories that coach people in their businesses. To me this movie has that compelling message. "We must fight to keep our passions alive."
The other aspect that I like about this movie is the strong contrast between nature and technology. Rocky flies off to the desolated mountains of Siberia using nature as his training ground, connecting with his true inner strength. The Russian on the other hand uses all the latest high tech gear and non-stop steroids to build his massive robotic body that looks more like a machine. Another valuable lesson.
While technology has tremendous value to our society, how often do we allow technology to rule our lives, stripping us of our of our connection with ourselves and other people, making us feel more like machines?
If you look at this movie as just a boxing movie, you miss the deeper lessons it can have for your life. Go watch this movie with new eyes and see its brilliant message unfold in front of your eyes."
You have to love the Rocky films
Matthew Edmundson | Winter Haven, Florida United States | 04/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Rocky films are such inspiring movies. I don't think anybody that has seen any of them other than five has felt motivated to do something with there lives. In the first three Rocky films we see the Italian Stallion come from a nobody to a somebody. He's the heavy weight champion of the world and has overcome a lot. Rocky IV shows they were running out of ideas and naturally Sylvester went to the easy way out, he'd have Rocky fight communism.Rocky IV is simple enough to follow. Ivan Drago(Dolph Lundgren) is the next big thing in the boxing world. He's the enourmus Russian that looks unbeatable. He's won the gold medal and has cleaned Europe out. He comes to America looking to become the champion and put Soviet boxing back on the map. Apollo Creed(Carl Weathers) wants Ivan. The Soviet agress to the match to show that he's unbeatable. He kills Apollo in the match and then looks at Rocky like he's next. Rocky(Stallone) feels responsible for the death of Apollo. He's unsure if he can beat the Soviet. Even his own wife Adrian doubts him. It's now up to Rocky to rediscover himself and restore honor to himself, Apollo Creed, and the United States.Rocky IV is such a hoaky movie it's beautiful. The East vs West set up is great. It's not just Rocky vs Drago, it's the United States vs the Soviet Union. This 1985 movie did take place during the arms race and it's a great patriotic tale. Very few movies have me made want to shout USA out while I'm watching them and Rocky IV does that.I have to tip my hat to Syvelster Stallone and Dolph Lundgren. Both are in amazing shape for the movie. Everybody that has seen the movie loves the scenes in Russia where Rocky and Drago are training. It's so barbaric, tender, and motivating all at the same time. The two in there boxing scenes also look good. Drago is the most impossing force ever scene in any of the Rocky films. Dolph broke most of Stallones ribs during the filming and did a number on bones in his face. You have to love that kind of dedication from Stallone who also wrote and directed.Rocky IV is an excellent film. A lot of people said they should have stoped after III and they are wrong. Rocky IV is a great motivational and patriotic tale. In a liberal dominated hollywood and media it's great to watch a feel good movie like Rocky IV."
kevin | vero beach,FL | 08/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After the first few Rockys,I was sure there would be no other one to top it off,but i was wrong.Rocky IV is about retired former champion Apollo Creed going against Russian fighter Ivan Drago when he learns that he may rival him.He dies in the ring,and Rocky feels he must take revenge.He travels to Russia to train against the mammoth fighter and they duke it out in what may be the most ferocious fight in the series.See this movie!Loaded with action-packed training sequences,it's the summer's hottest hit on the shelves."