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!"
Drama / Sport
Drama / Sport
Rocky Balboa, heavyweight champion of the world, is the trainer for Apollo Creed in an exhibition match against Ivan Drago, a "superman" boxer from the Soviet Union. When Apollo is killed in the ring by the brutal Drago, Balboa blames himself and promises to avenge his friend's death in the ring.
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June 11, 2012 at 5:58 am