Friday, May 29, 2009

'Rocky IV' Still Rocks

Back when I was a tweenager, I knew every word of dialogue of 'Rocky IV'. It was 1985 and people remember when LeBron/Kobe was actually USA/USSR. Two superpowers with completely different ideologies who were sporting elitists as well.

'Rocky IV' came with the best Cold War hook. Rocky Balboa, that lovable underdog in the first three Rocky films, gets to avenge his friend's death by fighting the man who killed him, the Soviet machine of Ivan Drago.

The movie has all the Rocky and 1980s staples. Of course no Rocky movie featured any kind of defense during the fight. All fighters seemed to connect on 90% of their punches ... so much so that it would short out the Compubox. It also had two outstanding and legendary montages. There is "No Easy Way Out" playing as Rocky is driving by himself as images of the previous three Rocky movies (as well as the Drago-Creed fight that happened earlier in the film) flash on the screen. And then there is "Burning Heart" thumping as both Balboa and Drago train for their climatic fight.

It had "you can't win!". It had "he is not a killer!" It had "I must break you." It had "if he dies, he dies." It had James Brown singing "Living in America." And it had Rocky's "change" speech at the end.

Is it a great movie? Of course not. It is filled with cheese and a Survivor song. It has the weird relationship between Paulie and that robot. And it relies heavily on the previous films. But it is one of the most financially successful sports movies of all time and it still is one of my favorites.

It is on ION right now (I never heard of the channel before just now) and watching it as if I was a 10-year old again.

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