-Posted by Alyssa
Released when budding tensions between the U.S. and Russia were starting to unwind, Rocky IV is a fine successor to the original film, aiming for political resonance.
Rocky Balboa (Stallone) is officially retired from boxing and living a comfortable life with his wife Adrian (Shire), son Rocky Jr., and brother-in-law Paulie (Young). Rocky’s blissful life, however, quickly turns upside down. His former opponent turned confidant Apollo Creed (Weathers) declares that he is going to take on the seemingly unbeatable Ivan Drago who is just as robotic as the robot Paulie received as a gift for his birthday. Creed is feeling inadequate and unmemorable due to his losses. Rocky is going out on top, but Creed is still aiming for some pride. He is hoping that a match with Drago will make him feel deserving of a legacy. The tension building to this match is so thick that you couldn’t cut it with a knife. Everyone is trying to convince Creed to back off from the fight, but he refuses. He is looking for the honor that he lost when Rocky took the title of the top heavyweight fighter. After the fight ends in tragedy, Rocky finds himself in a position where he must weigh the family he loves against the sport that has become part of his being. Always the fighter, Rocky travels to Russia for a vengeance match against Drago.
I wish we could get all of our adversaries on our side with a mediocre speech, and the ability to punch someone in the face. Nevermind that a majority of the film is montage, Rocky IV quickly jabs at your heart with the loss of another iconic character from the franchise. The underdog aiming to succeed continues to be entertaining, even if the films don’t push themselves any further than pairing Rocky against some other opponent. This film is memorable for its timely relevance, adrenaline-pumping soundtrack, and intense final bout in the ring.