(This is the fourth in a series of reviews of the entire Rocky / Rambo sequence)
Okay, now this is just getting silly.
Rocky IV is either the worst boxing movie ever made or the longest James Brown video ever made. Actually, the two aren’t mutually exclusive, so I vote for both. But the James Brown video needs editing: the first 10 minutes and the last 75 should be cut. The boxing movie should just be chucked into the trash, along with every Journey, Loverboy, and Supertramp CD ever made.
This movie is an unintentional parody of everything that’s bad about the ’80s: the overblown consumerism, the rah-rah pro-American jingoism, and most of all, those horrid music videos. There’s even a video montage (to a Journey song, I’m almost certain) that rehashes the worst moments of the previous three movies, including a wistful look back at Stallone and Carl Weathers embracing in the California surf while wearing skin-tight cropped tank tops in Rocky III. When I was watching Rocky III I thought that was an example of the movie not taking itself too seriously. Now I’m not so sure.
From Rocky’s Lamborghini to his boom box / beer fetching robot, this movie’s all about excess. Except when it’s about “showing” the Russians why the Americans aren’t all about excess. Cuz the real indulgers are those selfish Russians, with their fancy computerized gyms and their steroids. Rocky gets his muscles the American way — by hauling rocks around the Russian countryside (wha?).
Then, most improbably of all, when Rocky fights Drago in Moscow, the crowd is so impressed by his “resolve” that they actually start cheering for their former nemesis, with the whole Politburo watching. After the fight, when Rocky makes a speech about how now they all understand each other, he’s wrapped in an American flag — and the crowd cheers wildly for him! Ain’t America great?
It all just makes me want to buy a Chevrolet while eating apple pie and hot dogs while watching baseball. Good old fashioned, steroid-free baseball! Ain’t America great?