REVIEW: ‘Rocky IV’: Rocky vs Drago

Directed and starring Sylvester Stallone, “Rocky” is one of the most popular sports drama franchises. And one of the best of the series is 1985’s  “Rocky IV” (PG). 

Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is an American boxer forced to take on an unstoppable opponent Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), a Soviet boxer. The film explores patriotism and Cold War tension with two people from different places laying it all on the line.

During an exhibition boxing match, Drago accidentally kills Rocky’s best friend Apollo in the ring. The Soviet boxer is known by everyone worldwide as the strongest and fastest boxer who has taken everything away from Rocky. Everyone tells Rocky not to take on the challenge because it is known as “suicide.”

With everyone closest to Rocky talking down on him, this added more fuel to the fire and kept him motivated to take on the unbeaten boxer. With the boxing world being held in the hands of the Soviet boxer, Rocky forces himself to take on Ivan Drago to reclaim glory.

Throughout the build-up to the fight, Rocky is put in the worst conditions to train and forced to come fight over in Russia. Rocky was forced to train with what he had while Ivan Drago had everything at his fingertips and the technology to have the best physical advantage against Rocky.

The film received reviews for its intense boxing sequences, powerful soundtrack, and portrayal of the political climate at the time. The movie sent powerful motivation in the United States that no matter what goes on and what happens, never give up on chasing your dreams.

One of the most iconic moments throughout the Rocky series is the powerful soundtrack included in “Rocky IV,”  including “Eye of the Tiger” and “Burning Heart” by Survivor. These two parts of the soundtrack are often cited as some of the most memorable moments in the series, according to reviews of the Rocky series.

The performances of Stallone and Lundgren were noted by critics as their physicality and on-screen presence added to the intensity of the film’s boxing scenes. The intensity of two physically fit stars added intensity to the movie showing men that were in their best physical shape to put everything on the line for their country.

“Rocky IV” is one of the most memorable parts of the Rocky series and has led to more productions of films. 2018’s “Creed II” is based on the plot of “Rocky IV” where Drago comes back and forces Rocky to accept a fight where Drago’s son fights Rocky’s fighter, which gives today’s audience another look of someone going up against an unstoppable force.

“Rocky IV” is not only a widely reviewed movie but also is found to be a motivational movie for everyone. The movie’s intensity draws the audience to the film, allowing people to see what happens when work gets put into something and what hard workers receive. Overall, the “Rocky IV” film shows the struggle and hardships but not giving up and preserving even when times are their most brutal.

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