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 Believe 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 away at one another in Russia like that, surrounded by 10,000 Red Guards, a Gorby 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.
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