Sylvester Stallone is really sloughing it off shamelessly in Rocky IV, but it’s still impossible not to root for old Rocky Balboa to get up off the canvas and whup that bully one more time.
Beyond its visceral appeal, Rocky IV is truly the worst of the lot, though Stallone himself is more personable in this one and that helps. Dolph Lundgren is the most contrived opponent yet and that hurts.
Lundgren, an almost inhuman giant fighting machine created in Russian physical-fitness labs, comes to the US to challenge the champ, but is first taken on by Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), anxious to prove himself one last time.
So it’s on to Moscow where, surprise, surprise, it’s going to take a lot of training to get Stallone in shape for the Soviet. Though it really makes no difference, the story gets truly dumb at this point.
Lundgren, according to the digital readout, has developed a punch of 2,000 p.s.i., which should be enough to send Rocky back to Philadelphia without a plane. Once the fight starts, however, there’s no way Rocky fans can resist getting caught up in it, predictable and preposterous though it be.