|"Welcome to Russia, where I must break you..."|
Although the run time is shorter than the predecessors are, the chemistry between all the characters felt more equal than Rocky III (1982). Burt Young as Paulie still has his funny lines and Talia Shire as Adrian shows her concern for the people she cares about. Audiences even get to see Rocky interact with his son this time! For Carl Weathers, as his last appearance in the series is great to watch too. There is one specific scene where Balboa addresses Creed about him fighting Drago and whether it is worth it. The words exchanged feel meaningful and put the situation into the right perspective. Some may think otherwise though because Lundgren's character has very little to say. However, when looking at Drago from the perspective of which he grew up in, it's not like his training real gave him a reason to say much. He was trained to win and winning was all he knew. However, this does not excuse these other particularly questionable areas in the film.
An example of this are two montage scenes that are supposed to be throwbacks to the past films but it's done in such a random order than it doesn't quite work. With that, the scenes feel like filler, making viewers feel like they're beginning to waste their time. Another thing that doesn't make much sense is Creed's motivation to fight Ivan Drago. Didn't Creed remember what happened to Balboa when he was so eager to fight Clubber Lang from the previous entry? When you make haste without thinking or preparing, serious consequences may come your way. Creed knows this, so why did he not remember it? The whole USA vs USSR backdrop makes sense but again, why didn't Creed prepare properly for the match? His decision was rash and it cost him dearly. Wouldn't it have been more effective (emotionally) if Rocky and Creed prepared and then Creed lost? Wouldn't that be more heartbreaking? This is something Stallone could've included in his script but (obviously) wasn't used.
|Even for a boxing film, Bill Butler gets nice scenery shots|
This entry is fairly equal to Rocky III (1982), it just has problems in other areas. The writing and direction is a tad better which focuses more on its characters than it does fame and glory and Dolph Lundgren's debut is nothing short of good entertainment. However, it still suffers from unnecessary scenes, a contradictory motivation for Creed and a disappointing musical score, which unfortunately lacked the Bill Conti touch.
Points Earned --> 6:10