By Gio Gennero | sports editor
Do I need to say anything else? With countless iconic characters, workout moments and montages, and the best soundtrack ever, “Rocky III” and “Rocky IV” are the greatest movies of all time. Oh, spoiler alert by the way.
Starting with the main character himself: Rocky Balboa. Balboa is such an easy character to root for. He’s a simple man – just an Italian from Philadelphia who loves his wife, loves boxing and never gives up. To me, that’s all a protagonist needs.
“Rocky III” is probably one of the greatest draws in movie history. After the success of the first two “Rocky” films, this film took everything that made the other films enjoyable and multiplied it.
The film’s main adversary is Clubber Lang, played by none other than MT. He delivers one of the most iconic performances and does a great job of getting audiences to really root against him. His rage and aggressiveness act as an excellent foil to the always kind and calm Balboa.
After losing the first fight to Lang, Balboa loses his trainer, Mickey. Losing Mickey is such a heartbreaking event that Balboa begins to spiral. The one and only Apollo Creed, a legendary figure Balboa has spent two movies trying to overcome, shows up to save him from his despair.
Creed trains Rocky to have a more versatile fighting style and teaches him life lessons on the way to the most famous. training assembly never grace a screen – easily accompanied by the best song for such a scene and leading to Lang’s eventual defeat and Balboa’s redemption.
All that greatness in one movie, and “Rocky IV” is even better. Creed carries the first half of the film with his charisma and confidence. Creed is lined up to fight promising boxer Ivan Drago, who had destroyed all of his opponents because he was on steroids.
Entrance to Creed’s fight to James Brown’s “Living in America” is all the propaganda it would take for me to go to war for America. Maybe not, but you understand what I’m saying. It’s awesome.
In Creed’s fight against Drago, it’s very obvious in the first round that he’s in a very dangerous situation. Dramatically, Creed is viciously knocked out in round two and ends up dying in the fight. It created the best one-liner ever written.
“If he dies, he dies” Draco said.
Even the number of times my mother has quoted this is immeasurable.
Of course, to avenge Apollo’s death, Rocky challenges Draco to a fight, because that’s really the only rational thing to do in this situation. Balboa then launches into another super training assembly.
Balboa proceeds to knock Drago out after a 15-round war. Then the bloody Rocky tells everyone watching that they can change, just like he changed, and they can make the world a better place. If you didn’t know, the post fight speech Balboa single-handedly ended the Cold War.
Maybe those two movies aren’t really the greatest movies of all time, but in my experience, they’re easily the most beloved movies. I’ve never met anyone who’s seen and disliked the “Rocky” movies, especially the third and fourth movies. Both are great feel-good movies that help inspire viewers to keep pushing no matter what.
Also, yes, “Rocky V” is the worst movie of all time.