Rocky IV (1985)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Sports Drama, Political Drama  |   Release Date - Nov 27, 1985 (USA)  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Of all the Rocky sequels, this is the only one that feels painted by numbers. Once again, another fighter kills someone Rocky cares about. Once again, Adrian begs him not to get back in the ring. Once again, she comes around on that point. Once again, he trains. Once again, he vanquishes his foe. What sets this movie apart from being an average, uninspired sequel is its jingoistic fervor. By this point in the series, Rocky is not fighting for his own self-image, the heavyweight title, or even to prove to himself that he still "has it" as a fighter. This time he fights for his country. As shots of his evil Russian opponent being drugged make clear, Rocky is the American Everyman fighting the corrupt Russian government. At the concluding fight, his guts and determination so impress the Russian crowd that they begin chanting his name. Desperate to find a new emotional high for his fans, Stallone panders to his audience's patriotism. By draping himself in the American flag while giving the moviegoing public the scenes they expect in a Rocky movie, Stallone crafted an enormously successful film that is as cold and calculating as the original Rocky was warm and heartfelt.