No Pain, No Pain!
, 29 Apr 2011
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
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The best part of Rocky IV is the training scene which plays out with Rocky in deepest, darkest, (and coldest) Russia and Ivan Drago in a hi-tech, (well for 1985) lab. Its the best training sequence to date, (from films one to four inclusive) and two great songs are played : The Training Montage and Hearts On Fire.
Like the third film this is just one and half hours long and it could have done with another twenty minutes, less cheesiness and to be fair a better story line!
There are some genuinely funny moments such as when Apollo enters the ring dressed in his American outfit, (see the first film) next to a giant bull's head with Living In America playing. Drago's reaction as he enters in his own ring from the under floor is amusing too. (He looks confused!)
Yet as mentioned there are too many cheesy moments which are simply naff : Rocky, (trying) to talk at Apollo's funeral, Rocky's general home existence and the way he interacts with his young son, (his home life in the original Rocky in his dingy flat certainly felt more realistic), Rocky driving in his car thinking back over his career, (the song played is bad), the Robot circulating Rocky's house, Rocky and Adrian at each others' necks, (it genuinely seemed to make sense their arguments in previous films, in this film its too obvious and not drawn out enough).
This film was made at the height of the Cold War so Rocky's speech at the end is cringworthy where he says he wasn't liked and how the two fighters were going for each other, but its better than twenty million people killing each; and there's a lot of gratatious use of the American flag, (Rocky enjoys being wrapped up in it!)
Amusingly at the end Rocky says 'I want to say to my kid who should be at home sleeping, merry xmas kid!' Perhaps the closest we get to any meaniful words, (the earlier films did have better quotes) is Rocky :
'I can change, you can change and everyone can change.'
The movie starts with an American boxing glove matching up a Russian embroided glove and, (as usual) there is a recap of the previous film. In this case Rocky 3 complete with the Eye Of The Tiger soundtrack.
Rocky and Adrain have almost been married for nine years, (doesn't time fly?!) and Rocky gives Adrian a very odd looking watch. - The strap wraps around her wrist.
Its quite amusing how Apollo early in the film is continually refering to Rocky as Stallion. Presumably it would just sound odd if he gave him his full name the Italian Stallion!
Drago arrives in the US in Russian Army gear and annilates, - actually kills Apollo!
Drago post fight : 'If he dies he dies.'
In fairness Apollo had been retired five years and Drago is a steriods induced fighting machine. Apollo simply didn't take the fight seriously enough as per his boasting in the press conference and his entrance to the fight. Hence the next match where Rocky travels to Drago's home turf to exact revenge, (not kill, just win!)
Rocky spends so much time training that he actually grows a beard! When it comes to the fight it just can't be taken seriously : both fighters throw each other round several times as if it were some sort of wrestling match; and there's a Gorbechav impersonnator. The fight goes to the last round and I did genuinely wonder how Rocky defeated Drago!
Rocky 4 is a lot more light weight and it has the feel of being scripted on the back of a beer mat.
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