The Student News Site of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy

The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

Why ‘Rocky IV’ is the greatest movie of all time

Rocky IV movie poster. Internet Movie Database.
Rocky IV movie poster. Internet Movie Database.

Rocky dives deep into the heart of the USSR to prove that not only is he not afraid, but also that Americans don’t back down to anyone.

— Alec Tulio

‘Rocky 4’ is the greatest movie of all time because of American dominance and toughness on full display.

The movie takes place during the Cold War (1947-1991) which was a time period when the USA and USSR were in a race to become the two most dominant countries of all time. During this time period, the tension between the two countries was war-like; however, no bullets were ever shot. After WWII, both countries’ economies were booming and had enough military capacity to wipe humans off the earth. During this time period, the ‘Rocky’ series continued as Rocky and Apollo Creed were both set to face the ever-terrifying Soviet, Ivan Drago.

At the beginning of the movie, Rocky has taken time off from boxing after defeating his toughest opponent yet, Clubber Lang. Ivan Drago, a Russian boxer, is seen demolishing opponents in his hometown Moscow, USSR. Ivan’s huge frame and powerful punch have gained attention from American boxing associates. Ivan challenges Rocky and hopes for the biggest fight of his life, but because Rocky is no longer boxing, his longtime friend Apollo Creed accepts the fight in Las Vegas. On the night of the fight, Apollo Creed’s walkout and expressions exemplify how lightly he takes Drago as a threat. In the most dramatic finish, Ivan Drago kills Apollo Creed after Rocky refuses to throw in the white towel, a symbol of giving up in the sport of boxing. Rocky then accepts the fight to face Drago in the heart of Moscow, Russia. Rocky’s training takes place in an isolated cabin in Moscow and the greatest scene ever in a movie happens. Rocky goes for a run and when he does, USSR officials have to follow him. Rocky notices this and immediately loses them to climb a mountain. At the top, he holds his fists up high to symbolize that he (and the US) still dominate the world. Rocky wins the fight and leaves the arena with the Soviet army and generals chanting “Rocky.”

This movie demonstrates how Rocky portrays true American superiority and grit. The contrast between Rocky and Ivan’s training styles demonstrates this. Ivan Drago trains in a lab with electronics to monitor his muscle performance. Ivan is seen numerous times injecting steroids, measuring his powerful punch with a machine, and there are monitors everywhere keeping track of his heart rate and muscle performance. Ivan’s training is interesting to watch as it shows how advanced the Soviets were with their technology and the start of juicing their athletes. However, Rocky’s training is the exact opposite. His training exemplifies true patriotic American grit. Most of Rocky’s strength exercises take place in his isolated log cabin where uses logs and axes to strengthen his muscles. He also runs in the deep snow of Russia being followed by Soviet generals. The two training styles juxtapose how Rocky was against all odds training against technology and steroids; however, his grit and determination to avenge his longtime friend, Apollo Creed, are all on display.

The difference between ‘Rocky 4’ and all the other ‘Rocky’s is that Rocky has never before left his country to fight. His previous opponents were all American, and although they were difficult, Ivan’s fight means more to the American people. During the movie, the USSR and the USA are in a war about who could portray their country as more dominant than the other. This boxing match isn’t only about Rocky vs. Drago but also the two countries, and it means more to Rocky because of his patriotic, American grit. The people of America all back Rocky as this was country vs. country.

‘Rocky 4’ is the greatest movie of all time because it portrays American toughness and how Americans win against all odds. I wouldn’t recommend watching the ‘Rocky’ movies in order because you don’t need to know the backstory for ‘Rocky 4.’ ‘Rocky 2’ tells the story of how Rocky defeats Apollo Creed and goes on to train with him and become best friends. ‘Rocky 3’ shows Rocky facing what many thought at the time was his toughest opponent, Clubber Lang. If you have not seen ‘Rocky 4,’ I recommend that it is the first movie you watch to see how Rocky defeats all odds.

View Comments (5)
Donate to The Campus Lantern

Your donation will support the student journalists of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Campus Lantern

Comments (5)

All The Campus Lantern Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • N

    NickFeb 9, 2024 at 12:13 pm

    Great Review and Great Movie.

  • E

    Ethan QuinnFeb 9, 2024 at 12:11 pm

    I think Rocky II is close to battling Rocky IV, Rocky’s redemption arc was very heartwarming and fun to watch, from being brought on for a sponsorship campaign to beating the heavyweight champion Apollo Creed in a rematch shows the importance of the movie.

  • B

    Brian DoughertyFeb 9, 2024 at 12:11 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Rocky 4 surpasses every other Rocky movie in all categories. I do think people should watch all Rocky movies in order so that they can fully understand the relationship between Apollo and Rocky and why this fight meant so much to Rocky.

  • A

    Andrew MahonyFeb 9, 2024 at 10:19 am

    I think your analysis is spot on. The Cold War messaging is apparent. I agree the Rocky 4 training montage is epic. I prefer Rocky 3 as a movie due to Rocky and Apollo’s friendship and our new perspective of Rocky. Also, I think people should watch Rocky 3 before Rocky 4 to understand Rocky and Apollo’s relationship and the significance of his death. Great review

  • F

    Finn DoughertyFeb 9, 2024 at 7:26 am