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Isaac Hill
Isaac Hill

Rocky IV Training Montage | 720p HD

The audience watching "Rocky" already knew his true character way before he ever entered the ring, because we saw the struggles of his solitary, lonely life and the internal battles he was already fighting. Most importantly, we saw him scale the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in a triumphant training montage to the tune of Bill Conti's rousing anthem "Gonna Fly Now." That sequence invented the modern sports training montage and never looked back. Both the "Rocky" and "Creed" formulas are largely crafted around the montage trope. It creates momentum and it tells the audience that Rocky or Adonis is finally mentally and physically ready for whatever's coming next.

Rocky IV Training Montage | 720p HD

The "Rocky IV" montage should be broken up into two parts, with the first three minutes and 40 seconds focusing on the fierce intercutting between Drago and Rocky's training prep. Rocky is followed by the KGB when he starts cross-training in the Siberian mountains, but the Russian townspeople look on, humanizing Rocky in the eyes of the local farmers. Then, the fast and furious editing begins: Drago uses state-of-the-art equipment for a sidearm bicep curl; Rocky works the same muscles by helping a local man get his horse and buggy back on track. The best edit, by far, comes when Drago knocks down a stand-in practice fighter just as Rocky chops down a tree with an axe.

The first training montage ends, and just as composer Vince DiCola's "Training Montage" music subsides, "Hearts on Fire" by John Cafferty starts blasting as if to say, Rocky, you're not quite done with your workout yet (or your therapy). Stallone shows some incredible jump roping skills here as barn dirt kicks up from his Adidas boxing shoes. The intercutting between Rocky and Drago continues but it's slower-paced, showing Rocky more and more, as if he's actually winning the montage itself. Rocky does upside-down crunches while Paulie holds his feet; Drago uses a futuristic abdominal crunch machine with no help at all. Adrienne shows up to check on Rocky's progress as Apollo's trainer Duke looks on, telling Rock two simple words: "No pain."

"Rocky IV" also mainlined directly into the spirit of '80s excess, offering a bombastic cartoon version of Balboa that could be seen as the Reagan era equivalent of Captain America selling war bonds in WWII. The juxtaposition between Rocky and Drago's training styles in the "Rocky IV" montage highlights their differences and visually shows how they represent two entirely different ways of life. It's also the longest montage of the entire franchise at almost eight minutes long, a perfectly acceptable length when you consider everything that's going on.

Sylvester Stallone's 1985 film "Rocky IV" is quite handily the silliest in its series. Tapping into the ultra-jingoistic rhetoric of the Ronald Reagan era, "Rocky IV" saw its American title character squaring off against a Soviet super-athlete in a symbolic attempt to prove which of the world powers was ultimately stronger. /Film already wrote about the film's extended central training montage, claiming it to be one of the best of all time because it provides a parallel between the way Rocky (Stallone) trains, and the way the evil Russian Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) trains. Rocky is out of his element in Russia, where his bout with Drago is to take place. Because of this, Rocky has to find clever, low-fi ways to build in strength, including hauling logs and pressing rickshaws full of locals. Drago, meanwhile, is locked into a high-tech, computer-run athletics facility where his muscles and strength are meticulously measured down to the tiniest units possible.

On separate visits, The Athletic sat down with each expert to answer two simmering questions: Are the exercises Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago employed during the critical training montage in Rocky IV legitimate? And if so, which fighter was preparing better for the big fight?

Had you seen the famous "Rocky IV" training montage before? Had you ever wondered if you could actually do it as a workout? Have you ever incorporated any of these untraditional training moves into a workout? Would you? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

What we really need from a big chunk of those 40 previously unseen minutes is more scenes of Rocky training old-school with farm equipment in a barn, among the rocks and snow in Russia. Yes, more training montage!

Then in 1976, the world was introduced to one of the most renowned montages of all time. The training sequence in Rocky. An incredible soundtrack with a series of shots gave us one of the most iconic movie images of all time. (See the cover image.)

Where Battleship Potemkin was Soviet propaganda, Rocky IV can been associated with American propaganda. In this montage, we see Rocky training out in nature. His opponent trains in high tech facilities with an entire staff at his side. The audience only sees two fighters training, but the tertium quid will arise, particularly for American audiences. Americans will immediately think of perseverance and the ability to overcome an opponent that is bigger than them. Rocky IV perfectly represents the intellectual montage. 041b061a72


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