CineTV Contest: Rocky Wins Cold War
In the 4th Rocky movie, the kind-hearted boxer(Sylvester Stallone) becomes the messenger of foreign politics.
The stage for this cold war competition is set early in the film when Rocky's friend, Apollo Creed(Carl Weathers), is about to face the soviet machine, Ivan Drago(Dolph Lundgren). Before the fight, there's an appearance by James Brown performing his song Living in America. This is more than enough to agitate the soviets and the machine-like Drago steps into the ring to break his opponent.
Unfortunately, that's exactly what he did. Rocky is devastated by the loss of his friend and starts to prepare himself to challenge Drago.
At some point, we get to see a great training montage in which Rocky is training in harsh conditions somewhere in Siberia. Meanwhile, Ivan Drago is training in some high-tech surroundings, his hitting power is constantly measured while the doctors keep pumping doping into him.
It is becoming more and more evident that this film is not just about the feud between Rocky and Drago.
In A Burning Heart
Rocky IV has a great soundtrack to lift up that fighting spirit and emphasize the rivalry between the two nations. Besides James Brown, it also includes songs such as Hearts On Fire, No Easy Way Out and Burning Heart.
In my opinion, these Survivor lyrics really underline the message of Rocky 4. The competition, the rivalry and the importance of winning.
Two worlds collide
It's a primitive clash
Venting years of frustrations
Bravely we hope
Against all hope
There is so much at stake
Seems our freedom's up
Against the ropes
Does the crowd understand?
Is it East versus West
Or man against man?
Can any nation stand alone?
I Defeat All Men
Strangely enough, as a kid, my sympathies were on Drago's side. Usually, I'm on the underdog's side and in this case, Rocky is definitely the underdog.
When I was watching Rocky IV the second time I didn't watch it till the end because I didn't want to see Drago lose. It's weird cos I have been rooting for Rocky in the first three films and felt bad when Apollo Creed died but still, there's something really cool about Ivan Drago.
I had probably just seen The Terminator and Drago was a Terminator-like character. He didn't speak very much which just added to his coolness. In fact, when searching for pictures of Rocky IV I actually found all of Ivan Drago's lines! All nine of them. Here they are:
- “You will lose.”
- “I cannot be defeated.”
- “I defeat all men.”
- “Soon I defeat real champion.”
- “If he dies, he dies.”
- “I must break you.”
- “He’s not a human. He’s like a piece of iron.”
- “I fight to win, for me. For me!”
- “Until the end.”
Great acting. If there ever was a message in the movie to hint who to support I didn't get that memo. Sadly, Dolph Lundgren's career didn't take off quite like Stallone's even though he starred in some classic movies such as The Punisher(1989).
Two Worlds Collide
This film is not about the rivalry between Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago but a rivalry between the USA and the Soviet Union, east versus west. In the end, the two boxers are just ordinary men forced by circumstances to fight for the honor of their homeland.
Rocky IV is a good example of the world in which sports become the extension of politics. Everything is pushed to its limits and it's us against them. It's still very hard to tell if there is even a drop of irony in it. Probably not. We have to remember that when it came out it was the year 1985, the cold war was still on and the tensions were high.
At the end of the movie, the hostile Soviet crowd gives a standing ovation to Rocky, and among them, we can see president Mihail Gorbatshov clapping his hands. In about five years since the making of Rocky IV, the Soviet Union was no more.
Thank you for reading!
This is my entry to CineTV Contest #39
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Rocky poster source
I Must Brake You gif source
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9 lines? That's it? This is a great piece of trivia for my back pocket.
This is always a great watch for me. The film was often cast aside for being too much like a music video at the time of release and I can understand that. The music is what I remember along with those epic training montages that make anyone feel like they can take on the world.
There's a new cut of the film too by Stallone that adds more backstory with Apollo that's worth a watch.
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Yes, 9 lines. He let his fists do the talking! 😃
The soundtrack really has that '80s vibe to it. Great stuff!
This I didn't know! Have to check that out. Thanks for sharing!
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What a great choice... one of my favourite rivalries!!
That's so cool! He's like 'what the hell is this...?'
So many legends in this movie. Forgot to mention Brigitte Nielsen.
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Nice choice for the contest
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