Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rocky IV (1985)

This is a solid movie. Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) is a well-trained fighter who wants to demonstrate that a Russian can be a successful boxer. Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) agrees to face him in the first fight and then dies from his injuries. To avenge his best friend’s death, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) decides to visit Russia to fight against the large and talented opponent. While training, Drago uses advanced equipment and anabolic steroids. Rocky chooses to stick with a more natural regimen: he throws logs, chops down trees, pulls an overloaded sleigh, jogs in heavy snow and climbs a mountain.

This is the most financially successful film in the franchise. Wyoming doubled for the frozen expanse of the Soviet Union. Some of the original scenes filmed with Dolph Lundgren have authentic punches and Stallone was even hospitalized because of it. Weathers almost quit after an aggressive incident with Lundgren. Sportscaster Stu Nahan makes his fourth appearance in the series. Stallone's then-wife, Brigitte Nielsen, appeared as Drago's wife, Ludmilla. This is the only film in the series not to feature original music by composer Bill Conti. It was the highest-grossing sports film of all time until 2009.

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