Rocky IV (1985)
Rocky IV is the culmination of the 1980s Ronald Reagan vision of corporate America in all its gaudy excess, and is by far, the most ridiculous of all the Rocky movies, which is quite the accomplishment. It was a big enough stretch that a club fighter on his last legs could go the distance with an Ali like heavyweight champ, let alone defeat him, let alone have ten successful championship defenses, defeat a Mike Tyson like young contender; now he’s going to single handedly end the cold war a good four or five years before it officially ended. To do this he must endure several training montages featuring hit 1980s popular music in the mountainous terrain of Mother Russia, and then go on to beat a chemically enhanced brute named Ivan Drago who is so menacing he killed his last opponent in the ring. It is kind of funny to think just how far removed this film is from the halfway plausible original film that started it all, but if you are willing to go along for the ride, this is another carefully produced piece of paint by numbers entertainment that delivers to the exact level it intends to. As I a wide eyed kid, I loved this movie. Now as an adult I am a little embarrassed by it, but I am enough of a non-cynic to find plenty to enjoy in this ridiculous romp of an 1980s sports movie. This movie is the very definition of over the top (no reference intended to the actual film of that name) from the music, to the acting. Hell, even James Browne shows up to do a full routine at one point.