HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
In the Strange Pursuit of Laura Durand
Laguna Ave.
Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11
Amulet
Flag Day
Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
   
 
Newest Articles
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Rocky IV No Show Without Punch
Year: 1985
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers, Burt Young, Brigitte Nielsen, Michael Pataki, Tony Burton, Stu Nahan, James Brown
Genre: Drama, ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 4 votes)
Review: Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is the reigning world boxing champion but he's still in training, as tonight with former rival Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), which makes him late for his brother-in-law Paulie's birthday party. Rocky has bought him a talking robot as a present which trundles in with the cake, and later on Rocky reminds his wife Adrian (Talia Shire) that's it's nearly their wedding anniversary. Things couldn't look rosier, until the Soviet figure of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) appears in the U.S.A. to challenge an American to a boxing match. Drago has undergone extensive training with all the latest fighting techniques, and believes himself to be unbeatable, yet Apollo believes otherwise and agrees to compete against him in a friendly match - but he's making a mistake.

During the eighties, the Cold War was hotter than ever, but not a shot was fired; not a shot in real life, that is. On the silver screen, Hollywood attacked the Soviet Union with an enthusiasm that bettered the fifties tales of Communists from outer space, and if the Cold War had been fought in the cinemas, it would have been over a lot quicker, with America the proud victor. Top Gun, Red Dawn and, of course, Rambo were the main assault weapons in the movies' arsenal, but no one had more gall than Sylvester Stallone in making his musclebound, muscleheaded hero of the Rocky films into the personification of American patriotism and power. He scripted this attack on the Soviet Union himself as a triumph, yet again, of the underdog, and if some cried foul at the ridiculous oversimplification of the politics of East and West, it made tons of money and now looks as camp as Christmas, which is appropriately when the final fight is held.

Apollo is conscious of being dangerously close to a hasbeen, and wants to show that he still has what it takes, but Rocky is not so sure that's such a good idea. Nevertheless, Apollo holds a press conference with the monolithic Drago (dressed in a military uniform, in case we didn't realise what he represents) which ends in a near brawl between the two men - Apollo thinks it's just for show, but Drago seems to be taking things very seriously, as does his lookalike wife (Brigitte Nielsen) who speaks for him. Yes, Drago is more like a machine, not Paulie's robot, but a punching automaton, who barely says a word and stares intimidatingly ahead. So the fight goes ahead, and it's held in Las Vegas, with all the restraint you'd expect, i.e. none whatsoever, there are showgirls, glitter, stars and stripes to wave, even James Brown (billed as The Godfather of Soul) turns up to sing "Living in America" - it couldn't be more American if they were all eating Mom's Apple Pie and reciting the Constitution.

However, tragedy is just around the corner, as we suspect when Drago utters his first words, "You vill lose!" to Apollo when they step up to each other. Sure enough, the Russian doesn't seem to know the meaning of the word "friendly" and batters Apollo to the canvas, killing him in the process. He might as well have declared war: the U.S. public are horrified and bay for blood, so who's going to take revenge? That's right, Paulie's robot - no, only kidding, it's Rocky. Desperately trying to hide the fact that he's got half an hour of story and ninety minutes to fill, Stallone resorts to the old favourite, the montage (and we all know how they work thanks to Team America - Ed!]; after a heart to heart with Mrs Rocky, where she tells him he'll never win, off our hero drives into the night and we are treated to highlights of the series with a rock song playing over it, obviously with one eye on the soundtrack album. This is not the first, or the last, montage.

Rocky IV just may be the most predictable film in motion picture history, but it's curiously entertaining in its overstatement and daftness. We've watched Rocky as the underdog for three times now, so to pump him up to global significance was perhaps the only way forward. The American travels to the Soviet Union for a match with Drago, not for the world championship title but for... erm, for the sake of it, really. We get not one, but two montages of training, as Rocky, the man of the people, chops logs and jogs through snow while his Russian counterpart undergoes his scientific regime. Then it's time for the big confrontation as our hero, now joined by a worried Adrian, gears up for the fight of his life. Guess who wins? Yup. Not only that, but Rocky manages to turn the crowd in his favour and hilariously gets the Politburo applauding him. You get the impression that nobody took this as seriously as Stallone, but for Rocky the only way was down - a muted sequel was his next appearance until he rose again with his swan song in 2006. Remember him this way. Or pity the fool. Music by Vince DiCola.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 19157 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: