REVIEW: Rocky IV

For me, the Rocky franchise was on a great role with 3 successful films that I did really enjoy. However, that role ended with Rocky IV and there are many reasons for this. Mostly, because I didn’t really like the story and I thought the characters were just appalling! The final fight was so predictable although there were one or two unexpected moments, Rocky IV felt more like a desperate grasp at money and went out of hand so it lost taste and originality. On many occasions, it felt like a revenge film more than a boxing drama like all of the others are. One bit of credit I will give Rocky IV is that it really did show the real dangers of boxing itself and what damage can be occurred in the ring no matter how big, small, heavy, light, tall or short one is.

Sylvester Stallone has made two performances by the same actor of the same character earn one Academy Award Best Actor nomination and a Golden Raspberry Award Worst Actor nomination possible and I didn’t really think that after he earned the Academy Award nomination, he could sink down this low as Rocky Balboa but unfortunately he really did with this fourth instalment. The Rocky character in this fourth film made the entire film cheesy and that only took one guy. I mean, his pride felt empty after Mickey and when Apollo took over. To be honest, I thought that Rocky IV was more about Apollo than Rocky himself. It’s like Rocky and Apollo switched places from the third film until a tragedy occurs. However, that tragedy was too much like the one in the third film and what Rocky did afterwards. As the films carry on, Rocky’s opponents get rougher and harder to beat but as far as the opponents with strong character, it goes slightly downfall after the second one. What a lame boxing opponent Ivan Drago really was! For one thing, he barely said a single word and he just stood and that was it. He literally had no personality apart from the words “I… will… break… you” and that was it. I mean, just because one guy has a bigger build and is taller than his opponent, that doesn’t make him completely a better fighter in terms of game play and tactics during a fight. Admittedly, I do find Dolph Lungdren a great action hero but was an idiot in the fourth Rocky. I’ll tell you who he reminded me of in this film: Herr Stamper in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies apart from Stamper had a personality and had character whereas Ivan Drago didn’t. Talia Shire was quite weak in this one too as Adrian Balboa but Burt Young was pretty good as always as Paulie.

Sly, what in the hell happened here?! I’m sorry to have to say this but you were an absolute lazy arse with this one and didn’t really read into it very much especially the script and the development of the characters. Now, this is where Sylvester Stallone is a bad director; even in the boxing scenes and we have seen him impress us with solid directing in those scenes in the other Rocky films except the first and fifth one. What a cheesy script! I mean, in the first three, Rocky was a determined winner but then there were people saying ”If he dies, then he dies”. I mean, what the f***?!

Overall, Rocky IV is a major disappointment to the franchise which, for me, makes it the only bad Rocky film. It went out of proportion most of the time and went really cheesy. Admittedly, there are some that are bound to find either the fourth or fifth Rocky film a guilty pleasure. As for me, I only find Rocky V a guilty pleasure, Rocky IV was just shit. I absolutely loved the series until this one came out. Rocky IV was like a big push backwards against the other three films but it is a good job that Rocky V was better even though that wasn’t brilliant either and Rocky Balboa aka Rocky VI.

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~ by SJMJ91 on 21/05/2012.

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