Rocky is back and this time he's fighting an unbeatable Russian automaton named Drago (Dolph Lundgren). What does this huge Russkie have in store for Rocky? Can he remain the champ?
CLICK HERE and watch 2009 MOVIES FOR FREE!
This is the one everyone else hates. Well, not as bad as Rocky V, but weíll get to that next. Regardless, this is actually my 2nd favorite film in the franchise next to the first film. I understand itís flawed from the start but I was genuinely intrigued at the level of threat Rocky was faced with during this film.
The Story: Ok, so there are studio notes riddling this script. Everyone knows it. ďHappy Birthday PaulieĒ 4Ö.count themÖ.1Ö2Ö3Ö.4 montages. And the film still barely comes in at an hour and a 1/2 . In television thereís something called a ďB storyĒ or the secondary plot. This film has none. Where as the first 3 films had personal aspects of Rockyís life affecting the A story. This film is solely about Rocky VS the Russian. And thatís the only problem. Itís a big problem, but itís the only problem. The death of Apollo sends a shockwave to the audience that this is much different than any other boxing match Rocky has competed in and the risk is much higher. Given the track record of the films, itís really unexpected for Rocky to survive, let alone win the fight. Which is what makes this film so epic at times.
Acting: The returning players all know what theyíre doing and so itís without saying that they lock their characters in no problem. The addition of Dolph Lungren isnít really much. It could have just as easily been Arnold Schwarzeneggar and it would have worked. Minimal dialogue and just pure intimidation from the body size. The only reason Lungren got the role was because of the theme involving the Cold War with the Russians around the time the film was being made. Yes, the political aspects do get a little ďeye-rollingĒ at times, but the heart of the A story is still strong despite it.
Cinematography: Same old song and dance folks. Not that itís bad, justÖ.more of the same good old boxing DP work.
Production Design: Happy Birthday Paulie. Happy Birthday Paulie. Obviously they have more money this go around if they can build robots for Paulieís sidekick. But among that they also have a lot of computer systems for Dragoís training facility which plays back to the first film that contrasts Rocky against his opponent.
Editing: Same old song and dance yet again. JustÖ..too many montages. Blame the script, blame the director, blame the editor. Thatís my only fault.
Score: As always, itís what makes the film what it is. The Rocky scores are truly amazing and this one doesnít change at all. If thereís one thing you can count on with these movies, itís that the score/soundtracks will always deliver.
Special Effects: Aside from computers for Ivan Drago, Iím pretty sure there are none.
Editing: The editing is on par. Itís definitely doing itís job of keeping the pace going. Although I said earlier that the characterization keeps the audience intrigued the plot for the first half is almost shotty. Itís non-existent. But the editing keeps a steady pace that lets us know things are moving along as they should be.
Score: Makes the movie. Without a doubt. Yes, itís a great story with interesting characterization, but without that inspiring music, itís just a boring montage or a boxing match. The music pushes it above and beyond and thatís what really gets the audience in the movie theater cheering.
Special Effects: There is none, sans I guess injury prosthetics and they donít bother me any.
In closing: Rocky 4, at itís heart, has tons of potential. The only lacking aspect of it is a solid B story and other obstacles and threshold guardians for Rocky to overcome before facing Drago. What is there as far as the A story works fine, but would work just as well as the first three films if there were other things going on, and we got a better take on Rockyís personal life and the trials and tribulations from it. Basically, this is the first film in the franchise that doesnít have Rocky ďlearnĒ anything. He takes nothing away from his victory over Drago except vengeance for Apollo. His speech to the Russians at the end means nothing because thereís no B story to justify it. But itís still a fun entertaining movie none the less.