Writer: Sylvester Stallone (Screenplay)
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Brigitte Nielsen, Tony Burton, Dolph Lundgren
Plot: After iron man Drago, a highly intimidating 6-foot-5, 261-pound Soviet athlete, kills Apollo Creed in an exhibition match, Rocky comes to the heart of Russia for 15 pile-driving boxing rounds of revenge.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Toughest Test
Story: Rock IV starts as Rocky (Stallone) is still champion but a new challenge comes to the shores of USA, the Russian’s bring their biggest name Drago (Lundgren) an amateur boxer who has been bred to destroy, he doesn’t say much living his wife Ludmilla (Nielsen) doing all the talking. Apollo (Weathers) decides he wants to face Drago in an exhibition match to see just how good Drago is.
When Drago kills Apollo in the ring the world sees how good Drago really is and now he has set his sights on Rocky. Rocky gives up his title so he can go to Russia for this fight against everyone’s wishes but he wants to prove to the world Drago is beatable.
Rocky IV really has a much small but similar storyline to what we have seen before, it is Rocky going into a fight against someone who is bigger, stronger and a favourite in a fight. We do have the highest level of personal story on this with the death of Apollo in the ring but once you see past this we just see the same training montage, the same fight, the same discussion about whether to fight or not. A standalone film this is ok but in the end we have seen it all before.
Sylvester Stallone: Rocky is the champion of the world when the big Russian turns up wanting to fight him, Apollo jumps in to take on the Russian only to get killed in the ring. Rocky gives up his title to avenge Apollo’s death in Drago’s backyard of Russia. Sylvester gives the performance we have all come to know in this franchise.
Talia Shire: Adrian doesn’t think either men should fight Drago and after Apollo’s death she is completely against Rocky even considering fighting the giant super athlete. Talia again really doesn’t get used as much as she should.
Burt Young: Paulie is the manager of Rocky now following him into every battle even the one in Russia. Burt starts to get a bigger role but gets forgotten in the final third.
Carl Weathers: Apollo sees the Russian Drago comes to America and wants to be the first person to face him in the ring. Against all advice from Rocky he steps in the ring with his cocky nature only for it to be his final fight. Carl gives us a good performance giving his character a final farewell.
Dolph Lundgren: Drago is the Russia super athlete who has come to America to prove himself in the ring, he has been trained with science to be stronger than any fighter we have seen yet. He kills Apollo in the first match leading to him having a fight against Rocky. He is an emotionless fighting machine that does his talking in the ring. Dolph makes for a great opponent for Rocky being bigger and stronger than anyone he has faced before.
Support Cast: Rocky IV continues to have the trademark boxing characters being used in the film.
Director Review: Sylvester Stallone – Sylvester gives us what we want to see in this film and increased emotional level and an underdog beating a strongest enemy.
Sports: Rocky IV has the deadliest boxing match we have seen Rocky in to date and the first one that doesn’t include him.
Music: Rocky IV is filled with classic 80’s montage music.
Settings: Rocky IV takes the action to Russia to show Rocky against a hostile crowd.
Suggestion: Rocky IV is one for all the fans of the franchise to enjoy but it isn’t the strongest entry in the franchise. (Franchise Fans)
Best Part: Drago is the best opponent for Rocky
Worst Part: Seen it all before now.
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: Yes
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Box Office: $128 Million
Budget: $30 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Tagline: He Could Have Stopped The Fight. He Could Have Saved His Best Friend’s Life. But Now, The Only Thing He Can’t Do Is Walk Away.
Trivia: When shooting the film, Sylvester Stallone decided that for the shooting of the fight, he and Dolph Lundgren should hit one another for real, so as to increase the intensity of the scene. After doing three takes of Rocky taking shots to ribs, Stallone felt a burning in his chest, but ignored it. Later that night, he had difficulty breathing and was taken to a nearby emergency room. It was discovered that his blood pressure was over 200, and he had to be flown on a low-altitude flight from Canada to St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, where he remained in intensive care for eight days. What had happened was that Lungren had punched him so hard in the chest, Stallone’s heart had slammed up against his breastbone and began to swell, cutting off the blood supply and restricting the oxygen flow throughout the body.
Overall: Weakest entry to the series to date