Ahead of the movie’s 36th anniversary this fall, Sylvester Stallone has finally completed his director’s cut of Rocky IV.
It’s been a long time coming for Stallone, who has said he wanted to make the new cut of his hit film since it was originally released in 1986. But then Hollywood came knocking with all types of projects begging him to get involved and stall on Rocky IV.
Rocky 4 directors’ cut
The movie is Stallone’s favorite and he wanted to do it justice. And judging from the reactions of those who have seen Rocky IV in its new form, he did every fan proud by finally completing this project that was long overdue.
Rocky IV will be fascinating to see how it may be enhanced, considering Rocky almost single-handedly wins the Cold War by the conclusion of the film. The fourth installment in the renowned Rocky series may well be the greatest in the eyes of certain fans, with a perfect mix of 1980s kitsch, political intrigue, and superhuman endurance. It reflects the Italian Stallion’s unwavering heart, as well as some of the finest fist-pumping moments that have kept fans returning to the franchise for decades.
More intriguingly, Rocky IV played a key part in the Rocky universe’s most recent installment, Creed 2. The film revolves around a match between Creed and Drago’s kid, and it reintroduces Rocky and Drago as coaches behind the ropes. Creed 2 largely drew on the events of Rocky IV, making the 1985 picture virtually a must-see before continuing Adonis Creed’s story. On rewatching Creed 2, depending on how much footage Stallone’s director’s cut of Rocky IV adds, removes, or cuts differently, it may add new subtext to the performances.
Rocky IV, which was released in November 1985, pits Stallone’s “Italian Stallion” against Ivan Drago, a Soviet-era boxer who murders Rocky’s rival-turned-friend Apollo Creed during a brutal exhibition bout. Rocky IV was a major movie office triumph despite mixed reviews, with the Rotten Tomatoes reviewers’ consensus stating, “Rocky IV inflates the action to ridiculous heights, but it ultimately rings hollow owing to a plot that hits the same fundamental beats as the first three entries in the franchise.”
Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa
Talia Shire as Adrian
Burt Young as Paulie
Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed
Brigitte Nielsen as Ludmilla
Tony Burton as Duke
Michael Pataki as Nicoli Koloff
Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago