Rocky IV

Rocky IV ★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I was slightly disappointed with this one. Apparently, it's a fan favorite for its '80s cheese and over-the-top boxing action, training montages, and general entertainment value compared to all the other films — however, what made me love the first movie as much as I did, as well as the previous sequels, was, admittedly, the drama. The characters, the story, the thematic material, and the emotional core was seemingly forgotten about either when Stallone wrote the script or when piecing it together in the editing room — we’ve strayed far away from the writing quality of the first film at this point, and it clearly shows. Apollo Creed's unfortunate passing should be a huge blow for both the characters and the audience, but the movie doesn't dwell on that nearly enough as it should; likewise, there's very little character development for our main characters and almost no emotional weight or struggle to keep me truly invested, as greatly opposed to the first three films. Although it's extremely well shot, acted, and choreographed, the final boxing match is the first one so far that didn't make me want to pump my fist up in the air and cheer for Rocky — I just wasn't emotionally invested.

Needless to say, this is still an extremely fun, entertaining movie despite the lack of emotional attachment. The training montages (of which there are many) are almost on par with the first two films', and I honestly enjoyed the '80s music video-esque style it goes for. Ivan Drago is great as the villain, the performances are on key (as always), and really seeing Rocky as a father was a nice touch. It's a Rocky movie, and, even though this is my first time watching through the series, I love Rocky movies. I'd like to see the director's cut sometime.

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