Rocky IV is awesome, or, how a fictional boxer from Philadelphia traveled to Moscow on Christmas and ended the Cold War.
Ronald Reagan would have been 100 last weekend. Many people credit him for winning the Cold War. Some people give credit to Karol Józef Wojtyła (Pope John Paul II to the faithful). Others say inherent weaknesses of the Communist system made the downfall of the USSR inevitable. They are all, of course, wrong. Anybody who watches movies, though, knows that Communism was toppled by the two prong thrust of Patrick Swayze in Red Dawn and, Rocky Balboa in Rocky IV, the movie I am currently watching.
If you don’t believe me, just watch the end when Rocky takes down a ‘roided up Ivan Drago and wins over the hostile Russian crowd. I’m pretty sure that’s actual footage. In honor of this under recognized historical feat, I give you the official JLo Rocky rankings, starting at the top.
1. Rocky IV: Edges out Rocky III for a number of reasons: 1. Rocky won the freaking cold war for Pete’s sake. 2. Apollo Creed dies 3. Dolf Lundgren and Bridgette Nielsen shattering the unintentional comedy record with their acting. (“If he dies, he dies.”) 4. “He’s chopping the Russian down!” One of the best sports commentary moments that never happened. 5. Rocky chopping wood, throwing boulders, and apparently scaling Mount Everest while training for the climatic fight. 6. Not one, not two, but three training/RockyDeepInThought montages. Totally underrated moment: Paulie’s “I’d be you” speech before Rocky enters the arena in Russia.
2. Rocky III: Lots to love about this one: Burgess Meredeth’s Mickey dying, Mr. T and Hulk Hogan both stealing the show, and Talia Shier’s “You can’t win, Rocky” and Mr. T’s “real man” taunts spurring Rocky to one of the greatest ‘eff you moments in movie history. (Has there ever been a less supportive wife/girlfriend/partner in the history of cinema? I think not) In the end though, history didn’t change because of this movie, so it gets the number 2 slot.
3. Rocky: The original rags to riches story. Sylvester Stallone won a award for writing this movie. FOR WRITING. Loved the fact that Rocky went the distance but lost.
4. Rocky II: Quite frankly, this movie is borderline unwatchable until Adrian’s “Just win, Rock” speech from her hospital bed. The second fight with Creed has best “boxing” (I used that term loosely) of any of the Rocky movies.
5. Rocky Balboa: Not as bad as it could have been.
(Between 5 and the next entry there is 1000 feet of garbage, sewage, compost and discarded Rocky scripts)
1006. Rocky 5: I broke my one of my cardinal rules for life by even acknowledging the existence of this film, but it had to be done for this ranking to make sense. I can’t describe to you how bad this movie was. Wait, somewhere in Philadelphia, two drunk guys at a bar just came up with the story where Rocky becomes a techno DJ and draws charcoal sketches of puppies in his spare time. Rocky V just got bumped to 1007 on this list.
You may think I’m wrong. You may be right, but I changed my mind once about Rocky III/IV. And remember, if I can change, then you can change, and maybe we all can change. Or something like that.
UPDATED: Almost forgot the KNEd’s random image.