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Film / Rocky IV

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"I must break you."
Ivan Drago

The one where Rocky wins the Cold War.

Rocky IV is a 1985 American sports film written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, who also starred in the film. It is the fourth entry in the Rocky film series.

In this film, the once-again retired Rocky is pitted against Russian super-athlete Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) after an exhibition match between Drago and Apollo Creed (whom Rocky had trained) leads to Drago killing Apollo in the ring. Blaming himself for Apollo's death and vowing to avenge it, Rocky decides to challenge Drago himself, setting the stage for an intensely personal grudge match. Against the wishes of his wife Adrian, Rocky enlists Apollo's former manager Duke to help him train and sets off to the USSR to secure victory and vengeance.

Also of note are the film's heavy Cold War themes, with patriotism for their country being a driving force for the main boxers, such that the final fight could be summed up more aptly as "America vs. Russia" rather than "Rocky vs. Drago".

Preceded by Rocky III. The film's success led to a fifth entry, Rocky V, released in 1990. Stallone later made a Director's Cut of the film, titled Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago, which was released in theaters on November 11, 2021 and on digital platforms the next day.

This film has the examples of:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: There is surprisingly little talk about Drago's conduct in the match with Apollo, including how he blatantly pushed the referee out of the way to continue beating a helpless Apollo. In real life one would imagine that a Soviet fighter killing a beloved athlete who is the equivalent of Muhammad Ali in a public bout would have sparked widespread calls for Drago's arrest, diplomatic negotiation between the US and the Soviets over the matter,note  further diplomatic wrangling over Rocky's trip to Russia, including guarantees about the conditions for the bout, Rocky's safety and living conditions in preparation before the match (if nothing else, just to make sure the Soviets didn't immediately take Rocky hostage and attempt to use his capture to embarrass or gain leverage in world affairs with the US) and so on and so forth. Rocky most certainly couldn't make a surprise announcement that he was going to Russia and would be staying there for months prior to the bout without representatives from the US government sitting him down for a chat, nor could Adrian casually join him halfway through the training camp because she changed her mind and decided she wanted to be by his side. However, all that is not the story that the film wants to tell and would get in the way of the action. (Some of it is covered in deleted material, however.) About the only nod to any of this left in the film is the fact the Soviet government likely insisted that the Rocky-Drago match be held in Russia so there would be no chance of Drago being arrested by Americans.
  • Actor Allusion: In the TBS Japanese dub, Ivan Drago is voiced by Norio Wakamoto, who previously voiced another stoic, dreaded military-based boxer, Kim Yong-bi, in Tomorrow's Joe.
  • Appeal to Nature: Rocky's training is portrayed as more righteous because it’s outdoors in the brutal Russian winter, while Drago's training is indoors, more technological, and includes steroid use—all of which emphasize Drago's villain status.
  • Artistic License – Cars: The KGB officials assigned Rocky while he trains in Siberia are driving a US import variant of the Mercedes Benz, which would not have been sold in the Soviet Union.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Ivan Drago has a measured punching pressure of over 2000 psi. Considering the average size of someone's fist, this would equate to roughly 15,000 pounds of force. To put this in perspective, a T-Rex's bite power was estimated at 7700 pounds of force. No amount of electro-stimulation and steroids could give you that kind of strength.
  • Artistic License – Sports:
    • In reality, Ivan and Apollo's fight would have been stopped very quickly. It doesn't matter if the towel was thrown in or not: the referee is obligated to end the match immediately if he fears for a boxer's well-being, something made even clearer when Drago starts punching Apollo and Apollo is clearly unable to respond or react, which in real life would lead the ref to stop the fight on a TKO. Even by the conclusion of the first round, it was blindingly obvious Apollo was in danger of significant injury. At least one analysis explores how the film would've worked if the match had been ended either by the referee / Rocky throwing in the towel before Drago could land the fatal hook to Apollo's face.
    • In classic Rocky fashion, any and all rules and regulations of boxing take a vacation at the end so that Rocky and Drago can pummel each other with life-or-death stakes on the line. Like the fights between Rocky and Apollo, the referee doesn't stop the fight due to massive cuts above the eye, despite the fact that Rocky and Drago's brows are openly bleeding and likely impairing their eyesight; in general, the fight would never be allowed to continue to the point that they'd be as badly hurt (even their midriffs are raw and bloody from body blows) as they were during the fight. Rocky's knockdowns alone would almost certainly lead to a stoppage and TKO, as Drago knocks him to the canvas no less than 8 times, sometimes twice or thrice in a row within what seem to be a handful of seconds. (And Rocky not even trying to block or dodge blows in between these knockdowns would only give the ref more cause to stop the bout). It's heavily implied that the Russian officials want to see Drago beat Rocky utterly, and won't accept anything less than Drago KOing Rocky (preferably with Rocky being knocked out cold and lying at Drago's feet while the ref counts to 10), but one has to imagine that even the most hardened Soviet ref given such instructions by a government representative would likely start looking for an excuse to call the match for Ivan somewhere by the middle of the match. Remember, Drago is an enormous Propaganda Hero promoted by the Soviet government itself, and the last thing the ref would want is his country's star asset getting brain damage or an internal hemorrhage fighting the crazy American on his watch. If the ref did let the fight go on and Drago started developing, say, bleeding on the brain and collapsed an hour after the match, the Soviet government would be furious... and the ref might well be blamed for letting the fight go on until it happened.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: Rocky and Drago fight on December 25th.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Drago's "You will lose."
    • Koloff, Drago's handler and promoter, drops this gem after Drago displays his Megaton Punch:
      "Whatever he hits- he destroys!"
    • And the most famous of them all, towards Rocky: "I must break you."
  • Blood Knight: Ivan is revealed to be one when he knocks his Soviet handler on his ass. As this is the first time Drago has shown something resembling respect for an opponent, this is something of a Pet the Dog moment.
    "I fight to win for me! For ME!!"
  • Bullying the Dragon: As the fight goes into the final round, Drago's livid handler lays into him, even shoving him in the face over Drago being unable to defeat Rocky. Drago abruptly hits his Rage Breaking Point and the handler gets about two seconds to realise what a big mistake he made as Drago shoots him a Death Glare before throwing the guy across the stadium by the neck.
  • Casualty in the Ring: Rocky returns to the fold to avenge Apollo Creed, after Ivan Drago kills Apollo in the ring during what was supposed to be an exhibition match.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Contrasting to Rocky's previous opponent, Clubber Lang, who uses trash-talk like punctuation, Drago is threateningly stoic and rarely speaks or emotes. He has approximately 5 lines of dialogue in the film.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Drago absolutely pounds Apollo in the first two rounds, actually killing him. He initially has the better of Rocky during the first round of their match, but Rocky manages to turn the tables in the second round.
  • David Versus Goliath: How everyone—including Adrian—views the matchup between Rocky and Drago.
    Adrian: Have you read the papers? Do you know what everybody says? It’s suicide! You’ve seen him, you’ve seen how strong he is. You can’t win!
  • Deadly Sparring: What starts as a simple exhibition match between Apollo Creed and Soviet boxer Ivan Drago gets serious when Drago starts really laying into him. Despite this, Creed refuses to give in and attempts to continue fighting, leading to his death.
  • Death Glare: Rocky gives one to Drago after Drago kills Apollo. Drago gives one back during their own match.
  • Denser and Wackier: The previous Rocky movies were generally realistic, down-to-Earth sports films. This one has an inexplicable Robot Buddy, a steroid enhanced Soviet Super-Soldier, James Brown flamboyantly opening for Apollo Creed in place of the National Anthem, and Rocky solving the Cold War with a dramatic speech that makes the Soviet Union instant buddies with the USA.
  • Determinator: No matter how many times Drago knocks Rocky down, Rocky will not stay down, much to Drago’s frustration. Rocky’s determination even wins over the Russian crowd.
  • Dirty Communist: Of course, Soviet boxer Drago uses performance-enhancing drugs.
  • Double Standard: In-Universe. During the interview, Apollo and his friends make several jokes at Drago's expense. However, when Ludmilla simply says that her husband is going to win, Apollo immediately becomes hostile and he retorts aggressively. Apparently, he's okay with joking at the expense of someone as long as it's not him. However, it seems that Apollo's behavior during the pre-fight press conference was likely just theatre; immediately after, Apollo asks for Rocky's assessment of his performance:
    Apollo: How did I do?
    Rocky: A little loud for my taste.
    Apollo: But good?
    Rocky: Yeah, very good.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: While it was a clear lie and Ivan did take steroids, Ludmilla does encourage healthy eating to become strong, even making a joke about Popeye with it.
    Ludmilla: He is like your Popeye. He eats his spinach every day!
  • Evil Counterpart: While "evil" is a stretch, Drago's very reminiscent of Rocky when you think about it. We meet him as an up-and-coming fighter and something of an underdog pitted against the established Apollo Creed in an exhibition match, with the opposition really not taking him seriously. Apollo even enters the fight with an over-the-top patriotic performance, much like he did with Rocky when they first fought. However, Drago surprises everyone by giving Creed a serious fight, and while Rocky lost the fight but gained the respect of everyone, Drago wins the fight (in the worst way possible) and finds himself reviled by the American public. The film plays this up even more in the training montage by contrasting Drago's and Rocky's methods, both pushing themselves to the very limit despite the differences in their training. There's also a sharp contrast with their personalities; while Rocky is a very warm, kind individual, Drago is mostly silent, cold as ice, and doesn't seem to have much empathy for his opponents (at least, until Rocky earns his respect in their fight). Drago even has his own Adrian in the form of Ludmilla, his loving and supportive wife who's always at his side... at least until Creed II subverts this...
  • Evil Is Petty: The KGB "assigns" two men to "guard" Rocky. Pretty much just for subtle intimidation... but Rocky pretty much ignores them.
  • Flanderization: In Rocky, Apollo Creed's patriotism is for show. He denies that his "underdog" idea is patriotic and insists that it is intelligent. In Rocky IV, he puts on a similar song-and-dance routine, but this time, it is a genuine expression of extreme patriotism, a quality not before seen in Apollo. Justified as this is an exhibition, and Apollo is doing what he does best, putting on a show. It's also possible that the increased Cold War tension of the 1980s (and/or fighting a Soviet as opposed to other Americans) brought it out in him, but it's also worth noting that this was around the time he cheated on his wife and unknowingly conceived his son Adonis.
  • Funny Background Event: At the end of the first round of the fight between Rocky and Drago, you can see Duke fighting Drago's trainer.
  • Genre Shift: Rather than being an underdog sports movie where Rocky has to prove himself, Rocky IV is essentially a martial arts action movie where Rocky must defeat an evil Super-Soldier to avenge his murdered rival/friend/master. Adding to this is the fact that the bout between Rocky and Drago isn't actually a sanctioned match, and eventually degenerates into something that barely resembles boxing.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Ludmilla takes a drag of Koloff’s cigarette as Drago is pummelling Apollo, showing her indifference to Apollo’s imminent death. Later, as Apollo drops to the canvas, Ludmilla has a small smile on her face.
  • Graceful Loser: After Rocky's victory and final speech, the Russian crowd cheer for him and the Russian leaders applaud him.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Downplayed, when Drago starts fighting Rocky, he becomes arrogant and dominant in the rounds, but when Rocky manages to fight back, he is impressed by his skill and determination. ("He's not human, he's like a piece of iron.") While he did still fight Rocky, he turns against his trainers (and to an extent, his own country) with the following words.
    Drago: I fight to win, FOR ME!!! FOR ME!!!!
  • Honor Before Reason: Rocky agrees to Apollo's plea not to throw in the towel to end the match even as Drago is massacring him in the ring, which leads to Apollo's death.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Drago with his wife. Until you remember that Brigitte Nielsen is about 6 feet tall, to give you an idea about how huge he really is.
  • Husky Russkie: Ivan Drago is gigantic compared to Rocky and is the Soviet villain to Rocky's all-American hero.
  • Improvised Training: The entire training sequence. Rocky has to train for his fight without the benefit of sparring, so instead, he hardens himself up in the Russian winter as best he can.
  • International Showdown by Proxy: American and Soviet boxers serve as a Cold War showdown. note 
  • Irony: Apollo tells Rocky he feels "born again"... mere minutes before he's killed in the ring by Drago.
  • Jerkass: Koloff, a loathsome Smug Snake who alternates between boasting about Drago's invincibility and mocking the Americans. Even Drago gets sick of him.
  • Just Toying with Them: In the bout with Apollo, Drago pointedly doesn't throw a single punch or guard at all for several moments. Until his corner coach yells "let 'er rip" (in Russian). Cue the horrific slaughter.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Ivan Drago's karma for killing Apollo is to... lose a boxing match. Creed II later reveals that Ivan did suffer actual repercussions for the loss; his marriage with Ludmilla and his standing with the Politburo both crumbled, leaving him a broken, bitter man obsessed with regaining the glory of his former life.
    • A retroactive example occurs as a result of Rocky V, which revealed that, while Rocky and Adrian were in Russia during this film's events, their accountant was embezzling most of their fortune and squandering it on botched real estate deals, leaving them broke when they return to the United States in the next film.
  • Kick the Dog: Drago shows no remorse for killing Apollo, about the only things that prevent him from crossing the Moral Event Horizon is that he's doing it out of duty for his country rather than sadism, and that he shows respect to Rocky at various points in their fight.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Among the franchise's antagonists, Drago leaves the darkest impact — namely, Apollo's death and Rocky's Career-Ending Injury.
  • Lady Macbeth: Ludmilla is a downplayed version. During Drago’s Training Montage, it seems like even she is taken aback by how monstrous he has become.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Because of his massive size and stoic demeanor, Rocky and Apollo assume that Drago will be a Mighty Glacier. Turns out he's just as fast as he is strong, utterly overwhelming Apollo and outmaneuvering him multiple times.
  • Made of Iron: Drago uses these exact words to describe Rocky.
  • Megaton Punch: Drago wields a punch force of over 2000 psi.
  • Montage: It’s a Rocky movie, so there are several:
    • Loved Ones Montage: Rocky imagines one while driving, after he and Adrian fought over Rocky’s decision to fight Drago in Moscow.
    • Training Montage: Rocky and Drago have parallel training montages as Rocky works out in the brutal Russian winter and Drago works out inside a state-of-the-art gymnasium while receiving steroids. Nevertheless, Rocky’s success in climbing a mountain while Drago quits on a heavily inclined treadmill shows that Rocky ultimately has greater heart.
    • Time-Compression Montage: Much of the boxing match between Rocky and Drago, except the first two rounds and the final round.
  • Mood Whiplash: The exhibition fight begins with a five minute long, ridiculously over-patriotic song-and-dance James Brown performance, one so ludicrous that it leaves even Ivan Drago utterly bewildered... and ends with Drago beating Creed to death.
  • Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Literal example with a variation where most of Rocky's training is done against the harsh Russian rural winter while Ivan Drago uses a modern, comfortable gymnasium.
  • Musical Nod: Though the song itself doesn't appear in the film, the melody of "Gonna Fly Now" is briefly heard as Rocky nears the top of the mountain in the "Heart's On Fire" sequence.
  • National Stereotypes: The portrayal of the Soviet Union is comically stereotypical and cartoonish. It's a grey, dour land of perpetual winter, where the population has no sense of humor, cheats shamelessly, moves in robotic unison and wears military uniforms at all times.
    • Subverted and played straight in a single scene where Rocky helps a peasant farmer whose sleigh is stuck in the snow. The man shows gratitude and they seem to bond slightly in the way that happens when a stranger helps someone in need. However the government officials watching the whole thing make no effort to assist in any way.
  • Neck Lift: Drago does this to his handler when he comes up to him during the match with Rocky and begins berating Drago for how poorly the match is going.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Apollo's showboating and attempted intimidation of Drago by exposing him to a ridiculously overblown introduction — complete with James Brown — probably serves as inspiration for the Russians attempting to intimidate Rocky during the match in Russia, with the incredibly dramatic Soviet anthem and portrait of Drago being unveiled.
    • The atmosphere is positive in the beginning. Apollo and Drago will just have a demonstration match, trying to improve the relation between the US and the USSR. Ludmilla even compliments Apollo and makes an outreach to his wife. However, Apollo is constantly mocking the abilities of Drago, while he has limited knowledge about Drago at that point. This annoys and ultimately enrages Drago and his party, resulting in a hostile atmosphere. Subsequently, Drago does not hold anything back in their fight.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The nameless Soviet leader who is shown watching Rocky's fight with Drago bears a conspicuous resemblance to Mikhail Gorbachev — who had just taken over as leader of the Soviet Union when filming began — sans Gorbachev's distinctive birthmark. On a similar note, Drago's manager Koloff noticeably resembles Gorbachev's predecessor, Konstantin Chernenko in dress sense and hairstyle.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The demonstration match between Apollo and Drago.
    Phillip Wismer (historian): Creed is clearly exhausted by the dance number he did with James Brown five minutes earlier, and before the second round is over...[shrugs] that’s it.
  • Novelisation: Written by Stallone himself. The biggest addition is Paulie going to Las Vegas, losing at gambling and lamenting to a prostitute.
  • Oddball in the Series: A couple things:
    • The only Rocky movie to not have the iconic "running up the steps" scene.
    • The only Rocky movie composed by Vince DiCola. As such, the song "Gonna Fly Now" isn't heard, though there's a Musical Nod to it as Rocky reaches the top of the mountain during his Training Montage.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • A subtle one right before Apollo fights Drago, where he tries to intimidate him by slamming down on his fists from above and Drago's hands don't move a millimetre. Apollo's reaction shows that he is suddenly aware that he's in some trouble.
    • The same thing happens after a Drago knockdown, when Rocky sulks into the corner, gets to his knees, puts his mouthpiece back in, and stands up. Drago's face says, "What else do I have to do for him to stay down?!"
    • When Drago's promoter tears into him mid-match, Drago towers over him lividly, giving him just enough time to realise he's made a big mistake before getting grabbed by the throat.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Rocky’s speech after defeating Drago, in which he expresses his belief, after seeing the crowds' change towards him and his own change of heart, that “Everyone can change!”
    Phillip Wismer, political historian: "And who could have predicted that this relatively inarticulate rambling at the end of a boxing match would go down as one of the most important speeches of the 20th century?"
  • Product Placement:
    • Everyone (including the Soviets!) wears Adidas sportswear.
    • Rocky, Paulie, and Duke all wear Boss Sweatshirts at Apollo’s fight with Drago; one red, one white, one blue!
  • Propaganda Piece: The film is a particularly well-known example of anti-Soviet Cold War propaganda.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: In the first round of their fight, Rocky can't seem to even faze Drago, who actually smiles at Rocky after letting Rocky pound away at his midsection to no apparent effect.
  • The Quiet One: Drago's handler and wife do the talking. He does the punching. It's established that while he does speak and understand English, he's just a man of few (if any) words — though Creed II does show him to be a lot more talkative both in his native tongue and in English, suggesting that his grasp of the latter language may have been more limited during this movie's events.
  • Re-Cut: Sylvester Stallone's original cut of the movie was about one hour longer. Ironically, it wound up being the shortest in the series. One can only imagine what was cut from the film.
  • Retirony: Apollo inverts this by getting killed in his very first match after coming out of retirement.
  • Revenge: The whole point of Rocky fighting Drago.
  • Robot Buddy: Paulie gets one for a birthday present "because he doesn't have any friends" (ouch). He later teaches it to sound and act like a devoted Robot Girl (ew). Pretty much a rolling Big-Lipped Alligator Moment throughout the whole movie. Roger Ebert has some fun making light of the fact Rocky is somehow in possession of some advanced artificial intelligence.
  • Rousing Speech: Duke!
    Duke (before third round): Now he’s worried. You cut him! You hurt him! You see—you see?! He’s not a machine! He’s a man! You want it more than he does! No pain! No pain!”
    Duke (before final round): There’s no stopping us now, this is our round. You start, you don’t stop! All your strength! All your power! All your love! Everything you’ve got! To win you’ve gotta knock him out. You gotta punch and punch until you can’t punch no more! This is your whole life here! You do it now, now!
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: This movie has Rocky go from America to Russia.
  • Silent Antagonist: Drago is a man of very, very few words.
  • Silent Snarker: During the prefight trash talk with Creed, Drago seems to be the only one from the Soviets to catch on that the argument between his handler and Creed is simple Trash Talk meant to psych each other out. Rather than trying to speak up, Drago simply pushes Creed as his own way of snarking back.
  • Skyward Scream: Rocky on top of a mountain at the end of the Training Montage, yelling, "DRAGOOOOOOOOO!"
  • Soviet Superscience: Whatever they're injecting Drago with is a lot more potent than the sketchy grey market 'roids you can buy off that Tattooed Crook loitering in the nearest gym locker room. That stuff never gave anyone the power to punch with the force of one ton per square inch.
  • Special Guest: James Brown singing "Living in America" before the bout between Apollo and Drago in Las Vegas.
  • Strawman Political: One of the most cartoonishly negative depictions of the USSR in American media, which is saying something. The Russian characters are a near-silent, hulking muscleman with little empathy towards his opponents, his wife who smiles gleefully when Apollo dies, and their Jerkass promoter, a Communist functionary who spends the whole film baiting Apollo, Rocky and insulting America.
  • Theme Music Abandonment: Rocky's classic theme, "Gonna Fly Now", is absent from this movie, although a few notes are used near the end of the instrumental at the end of "Hearts on Fire."
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Apollo’s death is given away in the trailer.
  • Training from Hell: Both Rocky and Drago go through one for the final bout, pushing themselves to their absolute limits. Ivan at one point is nearly in tears due to the stress and collapses at the end.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Major subversion. Apollo thinks Drago is this, due to the limited number of bouts that Apollo can view footage from. Apparently, Drago's skill and form had improved by leaps and bounds since his last bout that Apollo saw.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • Koloff, Drago's handler, says before the bout with Apollo that Apollo is too old and isn't in proper condition to beat someone of Drago's physique and single-minded determination, and Apollo is putting himself in danger attempting to fight Drago. It's hard to say that he's anything but right, especially when one thinks realistically about what a long career in boxing like Apollo's tends to do to fighters, not to mention that attempting to jump back into the ring to face a younger boxer who has a big size and strength advantage without taking more time to sharpen his skills is foolish on Apollo's part. (The information later retroactively revealed in Creed about Apollo's mid-life crisis and the distractions caused by issues such as the extramarital affair that led to the birth of Adonis only add to Koloff's point.) Apollo insists on going through with the fight immediately when even Rocky says perhaps they should do more to prepare and scout the Russian first, and during the bout Apollo's stubborn refusal to give up or let Rocky throw in the towel gets him killed in the ring.
      • During the same interview, Apollo and his friends make several jokes at Drago's expense. When Ludmilla makes a pretty light comment that Drago expects to win and he didn't travel so far without believing he could win, the lighthearted atmosphere immediately becomes more tense and Ludmilla accuses Apollo of being needlessly hostile and aggressive. The problem is that she's right. The moment she says anything in support of Drago, Apollo immediately became hostile and took it on himself to dramatically escalate the Trash Talk, which in turn causes the Russian party to become more hostile.
    • Regarding the Apollo-Drago bout, Ludmilla shames the Americans for trying to turn the match into a nationalistic dick measuring contest, and she's not wrong to do so. When Drago, the neutral (if self-assured) party, is raised into the ring, he gets mercilessly booed as if he's a Foreign Wrestling Heel, whereas Apollo enters on a giant bull sculpture to deafening cheers and James Brown himself singing "Living in America". After Apollo's death, she says that they've been receiving hate mail and death threats, undoubtedly stoked by the way the American media covered the story and Apollo and company hyped it.
      • During the interview where Ludmilla mentions the concern about Drago's life after the bout with Apollo, the press jeers at the idea of Drago having reason to worry. The fact is, considering how hated Drago is after the Apollo bout, he and the rest of Soviets have every reason to be concerned that, say, some nutcase with a gun might decide to take a shot at Drago or ambush him on the street. All the muscles in the world won't do Drago a bit of good if someone more than a few feet away whips out a gun and opens fire.
  • Voice for the Voiceless: Not that Ivan never speaks, but Ludmilla mostly speaks for him in situations when he'd be expected to talk, especially when in front of the press.
  • Wet Blanket Wife: Adrian strongly opposes Rocky’s decision to fight Drago, though she later changes her mind and comes to Russia to support him.
  • Worthy Opponent: Drago quickly comes to respect Rocky's toughness and determination during their bout ("He's not human. He is like a piece of iron") and shows that respect near the end of their bout.
    • Earlier, Drago is seen pushing himself to his limits to prepare for his fight with Rocky despite how easily he beat Apollo previously. This serves the dual purpose of establishing that Drago sees Rocky as a challenging opponent and also showing the audience that Drago isn't just a Russian behemoth on steroids; he pushes himself just as hard as Rocky to prepare for the match.


Living in America

James Brown sings an ode to the USA for the Rocky IV soundtrack.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

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