Rocky vs Drago is a contemporary cut of the iconic 4th film.
Sylvester Stallone has masterfully reshaped ROCKY IV with The Ultimate Director’s Cut. It delivers 40 minutes of never-before-seen footage. The fight scenes are more intense, the music is more powerful, and the drama is heightened. When it was first released in 1985, this film became the highest-grossing of all the Rocky movies. It was also the highest-grossing sports drama in cinema for nearly a quarter-century.
World heavyweight champion Rocky Balboa defends his title once again, this time against Drago, a six-foot-four, 261-pound fighter who has the backing of the Soviet Union.
I have seen every Rocky movie at least 20 times each. It is my absolute favorite movie franchise of all time. The 4th Rocky film is the most memorable due to the all-out 80’s vibes and featuring Dolph Lundgren.
As soon as the Director’s Cut began, I could already tell this was a different movie. However, I know the original version scene by scene and enjoyed comparing the two in my head as this new vision played out on the big screen. There are no significant changes to Rocky IV in terms of plot, and most probably would not be able to tell the difference unless you were a die-hard fan. The movie throws away most of the 80s cliche and presents a more contemporary cut. New scenes are added with dialogue that carries weight, and the lovely Robot that Pauly gets for his birthday is gone.
Stallone went all out to make sure the movie was how he envisioned it from the beginning. He made adjustments on the editing floor, such as making The Russian training sequence a bluer, colder tone and the final fight a more realistic color tone. The soundtrack also gets a tweak with new and alternate versions of some of the music.
More focus is on Carl Weather’s Apollo Creed, who needs to fight Drago to remain relevant, ending in his demise. Lundgren’s Drago also gets more screen time as the camera focuses on him more in many scenes. The whole movie’s drama is ultimately heightened as it is more profound than the original.
I give The Ultimate Director’s Cut an 8.5 out of 10. It will be available to rent on-demand beginning Friday, November 12th.
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