On the structure of Rocky movies


“Training immediately after a montage? What were they thinking?”

Exactly, you should always wait at least 30 minutes after a montage before training.


Here one can see that Rocky IV has:

  1. the most fighting
  2. the most montages
  3. the least dialog
  4. is the shortest

Making it clearly the best Rocky movie.


Was there ever any doubt?

Again, science proves what we already knew in our hearts to be true.


Revenge, death, forgiveness, Talia Shire, it’s just so good in every way. All it’s missing is Burgess Merideth making him chase a chicken.


As a side note, I feel like Dolph Lundgren is given short shrift in terms of character development in Rocky IV, so I’ll just speak up for his smarts by mentioning his Fulbright for chemical engineering.


I pity the fool that doesn’t acknowledge Rocky III’s obvious superiority to all the others.


Whaaat? [Spoiler alert: You should see more movies if this is actually a spoiler] That’s nothing but Rocky I with role reversal. I’ll admit that it’s interesting to see Rocky become Apollo, but the actual character growth comes at the end of IV when he learns to forgive and admire the guy who killed his friend.

I’ll see your Mister T and raise you James Brown and a star spangled hat for the ages.


Or, they just follow every monomyth ever.

Praising Rocky IV for character growth?? You punch drunk or something?

C’mon. IV can only be enjoyed ironically, as total camp. Bad camp, too. It’s a padded, flag waving, ridiculous corny mess. Everybody hated it when it came out–not sure how it ever got a reputation as even watchable.

Rocky III is cartoonish , but in a good way. Without all the ham-fisted cold war allegory pretentiousness. It’s got chickens being chased, Eye of the Tiger (a more appropriate fight movie song than Living in America ever could hope to be) and brought us Mr. T!

And it starts with freaking Hulk Hogan!

Well, of course it is. Symbolically, America beats the USSR in it. Really, the contest is for second best movie in the series, which I’d say Balboa (the sixth) takes my vote.

IV has a robot. III has Mickey die. I can’t handle that kind of trauma again.

I’d say something that starts with the Hulkster should be seen more in the camp category…

Two words: Dolph. Lundgrun.

…gets all the lines that people remember.

“If he dies… he dies.”
“I must break you.”

III is nice and shows how easy it is to lose the edge, but unfortunately Clubber Lang is beaten and just left by the side of the road forgotten. All Creed does the entire movie is just mention the Eye of the Tiger, there’s no real work being done in this one. A pack of tropes are lined up and put down: Rise, fall, rise again. Manager dies, former rival steps in. Angry family member made happy family member. IV at least has a great unexpected speech at the end as an unexpected turn that shows Balboa, and boxing, as more than originally thought.

No, no, no. You got it all wrong. Rocky III showed how you can literally and figuratively rebuild yourself. The character development was natural, done through actual interaction and dialog, not the tacked on paint-by-numbers speech-driven crap in IV. Even the death of Micky felt organic and genuinely sad. Apollo died simply because it was required by the formula they grafted from the third in their creative bankruptcy. Just another plot point to be ticked off. Despite the overbearing attempts at pathos, any sadness I might have felt at Apollo’s death was due solely to the character development in the previous movies.

And…the sympathy bone tossed to his rival Ivan at the end in IV? That’s a pale reflection of the friendship that develops over the course of the movie between long time rivals in III.

IV just took the exact formula–almost to the letter-- ripped out the heart and stuck an American Flag in the bleeding hole. It’s a shameless, pandering cash grab with almost nothing redeeming about it. The only way to enjoy it is to laugh your way through it for it’s cheese-factor.

And “I must break you” is fine and all, but, c’mon. “I pity the fool” is one of the most recognizable catch phrases of all time.


I have a feeling we are just going to have to agree to disagree.


1 Like

Thank God! I was running out of bluster.


One of the best things about Rocky IV is that, after it came out, the joke around Hollywood was that, after Dolph Lundgren, the only thing left for the next sequel was to have Stallone fight an alien; Jim and John Thomas took the joke seriously and wrote the script for Predator.

1 Like

I’m actually going to go with daneel’s suggestion and have us conclude this battle the only way: Just like the end of Rocky III!