Rocky IV Review

by Joe Joe

Rocky IV: Rocky VS Drago

More of a curiosity than anything else.

Rock IV: Rocky VS Drago

More of a curiosity than anything else.

Rocky IV is one of the best movies I have ever seen. It might be my favorite sports movie right there with Major League, Field of Dreams, and Tin Cup. My second favorite Stallone movie right after Demolition Man. Ten out of ten. Aside from Predator, it’s the only movie that has given me genuine testosterone while watching it. I never had to be healthy and work out since I could watch the training montages and call it a day. A masculine movie. A man’s movie. I’m not sure why Sly decided to do this new cut, besides it being the thirty-fifth anniversary. Maybe to appeal to today’s audience, or perhaps it was an itch he could finally scratch. I don’t know.

We all know the story. After Rocky’s last match with Clubber Lang, it seems that Rocky and his buddy Apollo are done with boxing. A new Russian boxing behemoth named Ivan Drago wants to fight Rocky but settles for Apollo instead. Drago kills Apollo during an exhibition match, so then it becomes United States of America VS Russia. Titan VS Titan. Oiled Roided Body VS Oiled Roided Body. Rocky VS Drago.

Stallone’s added a lot to this new version, but he also cut a lot. It feels like someone took Rocky IV and remade it for today, which means Sly removed the eighties from this version. At least the music montages remain intact. There are new scenes with Adrian, which are pretty good, but he also cut the scene where Rocky gives her the snake watch. I love that scene. The new scenes with Apollo add much more needed dimension to his character, but Stallone chops the scene with Apollo and Rocky in the locker room right before he fights Drago in Vegas, baby. I love that scene. Do you see a pattern forming? For almost every new scene, a different scene gets cut.

The eighties cuteness is also gone, like Paulie’s sexy robot, which makes Rocky’s kid barely in the movie now. No lame bit where his friends say “nerds.” Even the part where Rocky acknowledges his kid in his speech that ended the Cold War is cut. They even remove the Chipmunks Christmas song that Paulie listens to. Why? He has his headphones on, but no goddamned Christmas music is heard. Bridgette Nielson suffers from the new edit as well. No interaction between her and Apollo’s wife. They add more Drago, which is good but unnecessary. He’s made a little more human with these additional bits, but I prefer the Terminator version instead. I’m spoiling a lot because I feel like people should watch the original.

They improve on the exhibition bout with Apollo and Drago and especially the final fight. They’re edited better, and the punching sound effects are much more impactful. I welcome those changes. The fights flow better, but the Rocky VS Drago fight actually fucks up the “hit the one in the middle” bit. Sacrilege. Apollo and Drago’s boxing handshake is now different also. I don’t know why Stallone changed it, but that one pissed me off. Several iconic shots are just gone or slightly changed. The phenomenal soundtrack mainly remains untouched, except Eye of the Tiger moves from the beginning to the end credits. And guess what? NO OPENING BOXING GLOVES EXPLOSION. The eighties get sacrificed in this modern retelling.

This version isn’t bad. I liked what gets added but hated that Stallone had to remove a lot of other things. This movie does help Apollo and Adrien character-wise, but we already love them anyway in this endless franchise. Having new dialogue won’t make you think differently of them. Rocky IV is perfect, in my opinion. Rocky VS Drago is just an interesting experiment. It would be nice if someone took this version and the old version and spliced them up together, not removing or changing anything from the original, and you get an epic film.

Would I watch it again? Nope. I would visit the original, and that’s what I recommend everyone check out. Rocky IV has a genuine soul to it, but this version has a different one altogether. It’s more of a curiosity than anything else. View it simply for the new content, which is all good and sometimes an improvement. I wouldn’t say Stallone neutered Rocky IV or went all Lucas on it, but he didn’t make it better.

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6
OK

Good

  • NEW SCENES

Bad

  • REMOVAL OF ORIGNAL SCENES
rocky
6
OK

Good

  • NEW SCENES

Bad

  • REMOVAL OF ORIGNAL SCENES
rocky
6
OK

Good

  • NEW SCENES

Bad

  • REMOVAL OF ORIGNAL SCENES