Rocky IV

From Academic Kids

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Rocky IV DVD cover

Rocky IV is a 1985 movie that is part of the Rocky franchise. In this one, the main character, Rocky Balboa (played by Sylvester Stallone), has said he plans to retire from boxing after recovering his title from Clubber Lang in Rocky III. A new sensation from the Soviet Union, Ivan Drago (played by Dolph Lundgren), however, begins to emerge as a top contender.

Although Drago has never had a professional boxing fight and all his achievements came as an amateur, he comes to the United States, convinced he can beat any American world boxing champion.

At the same time, Apollo Creed (played by Carl Weathers) wants to make a comeback and stop the Russian, whom he considers to be cocky and disrespectful.

Rocky reluctantly agrees to train his friend Apollo for a fight with the Russian, and the fight takes place in Las Vegas. The bout was apparently supposed to be an exhibition, but Drago doesn't take it that way and hammers Apollo mercilessly. Rocky thinks briefly of stopping the fight, and urges Apollo to give up during the break between the first two rounds. Apollo makes Rocky promise not to stop the fight for any reason. During the second round, Rocky is about to stop the fight, but decides not to because of the promise he made. Later in the round, Apollo collapses face-first after being hammered by more of Drago's blows; he dies while in the ring, and in Rocky's arms.

After Apollo's death, Rocky starts thinking about fighting Drago, in honor of Apollo, and has a talk with his wife about it. Adrian Balboa (played by Talia Shire) tries to convince her husband not to do so and opposes a fight between Rocky and Drago. But Rocky takes a drive and starts thinking about his whole career as a boxer, his fights with Apollo, his friendships with the boxer and the trainer who helped shape his career as a boxer and the way they left this world, and so when he comes back home after that drive, he is convinced he wants to go to Russia to challenge Drago and try to avenge his friend Creed's defeat.

Rocky and Drago then sign up to meet in Moscow on a special bout to be held on Christmas Day. Rocky flies to Russia with Creed's former trainer and his brother in law Paulie and the three begin severe training for the fight in total isolation in a remote area. Canada was used in real-life as a stand-in location for the USSR. They are constantly spied on by members of the Soviet Government and spend their whole days training in the severe Russian winter. Drago, meanwhile, is in a specialized sports center using every type of machinery imaginable for his training. He is tested daily for all kinds of body reactions and extended to the limits by his trainers, while periodically being administered some form of injection, implied to be steroids.

After months of intense training for both fighters, the final scene of the championship fight takes place, and Rocky is pummeled in the first two rounds. However, realizing he'll soon have to take matters in his own hands if he doesn't want to lose, he starts fighting back in round 2, cuts Drago by the middle rounds, and starts to have the crowd cheer him on. By round 15, they are both extremely tired, but Rocky has a little more left and he goes and drops Drago for the count, avenging Apollo's final defeat.

After the fight, Rocky goes on to deliver an anti-Cold War message where he talks about union and friendship between both countries.

Because of his message in this sequel of Rocky and his characterization of an American military hero in Rambo: First Blood Part II in that same year, Stallone earned an award from President Ronald Reagan that year.

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Rocky IV part of the Rocky Series
Rocky | Rocky II | Rocky III | Rocky IV | Rocky V |
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