Posts Tagged ‘Ivan Drago’

This is something I’m just totally screwing around with but it’s fun to talk about.

In the movie world Rocky I opens in November of 1975.

Rocky II has him winning the title a year later, Thanksgiving of 1976. Also it should be noted that Rocky and Adrian get married the same year.

Rocky III is said to take place 3 years later, which would be 1979.

The secret re-match between Rocky and Apollo at the end of Rocky III takes place in the same year, as evident by Apollo acknowledging that he thought of this 3 years ago.

Rocky IV opens immediately after that rematch, when Rocky comes home late for Paulies’ birthday party. Later that evening, Rocky gives Adrian an early wedding anniversary surprise. However, before Adrian gets a ride on the “Italian Stallion,” he lets out a major continuity error which could threaten the fabric of reality itself.

He says it’s been almost 9 years since they were married. (Adrian acknowledges that he’s a week early, so pretty much 9 years.)

Now this night in movie time has to be 3 years, not 9 years later.

However, in the movie world they got married in 76, which in our world is the same year the first movie came out. Rocky IV came out in 1985, which in our world is 9 years later. So in the real world it had been 9 years since the movie world of 1976. Realities have somehow crisscrossed on this matter. (FIY They get married in Rocky II, which was in 1979, but takes place in 76.)

Upon further monitoring of the Rocky Reality, it is stated in Rocky IV by Rocky and Adrian that Apollo has been retired for around 5 years. Again, in movie continuity, it should only be 3. This statement is made when Ivan Drago comes to America.

But again Rocky IV came out in 1985, Rocky II, where Apollo loses the belt, was released in 1979, which is 6 years prior. However in Rocky II they fought on Thanksgiving, near the end of the year, so it still could be 5 years technically.

However, this one COULD possibly be reconciled, by assuming that Ivan Drago came to America to fight two years after the night of Paulies’ birthday party.

Other errors to discuss:

When Apollo comes over Rocky’s house they watch their fight from Rocky II and have maybe a five minute conversation. If you watch and listen closely, (and have too much knowledge of Rocky II like I have) you’ll notice the beginning of the conversation they’re watching the very beginning of the fight, but at the end of the conversation, you can hear the announcers calling the closing moments. So a whole 15 round fight was viewed during a five minute conversation. Maybe they were watching the fight on laser disc, and Apollo in his excitement hit the skip chapter button on the remote, which sent the disc to the end of the fight. (The real reason of course, was the whole fight obviously wasn’t filmed for the movie.)

Also the age of Rocky’s son fluctuates a lot depending on what time scale your looking at. He ages rapidly between IV and V.

In Rocky III, both fights with Clubber Lang are filmed completely from bell to bell, or to the end of the fight. Rocky I, II, and IV, have rounds 1,2, and 15, filmed in their entirety, with the in between rounds shown in a MONTAGE!!!!!!!! When I was a kid I noticed if you ever watched, none of those fully filmed rounds are actually 3 minutes. I think most were like a minute and a half.

These errors could threaten the fabric of reality itself!

Of course I’m just joking around. Back to my 9 years thing the real reason is that movies are usually presumed to take place the year they came out, unless it explicitly says otherwise or it’s assumed to be a either a period piece or a sci-fi film set in the future. It’s just something fun to talk about.

Hey yo.

 

 

Rocky IV was released in 1985, at the height of Reagan’s America. In this sequel the Rocky series reaches the peak bombastic-ness as our hero takes on the Soviet super slugging machine Ivan Drago.

Rocky IV is basically the same movie as Rocky III, just juiced up on 80‘s steroids. Early in the film the villain wins in the second round (and we see the full fight). Rocky’s mentor dies, he goes off to a far away/new place to train, and finally the big epic fight at the end.

Ivan Drago, the Soviet fighter, is easily the best villain of the series. Apollo Creed of the first two movies wasn’t a villain per say, he was an entertainer wanting to put on a show. Clubber Lang of Rocky III was more of a villain with his bad attitude, but Drago is portrayed as an inhuman monster. Even his last name suggests he’s some mythical Dragon. Another way he is distinct is how stoic he is. Creed is basically Muhammad Ali, and Clubber Lang was certainly a trash talker. Drago rarely speaks, so the few lines he has are still memorable, like “If he dies, he dies,” and “I must break you.”

In fact, Drago is so fearsome that even Rocky’s wife Adrian doubts her husband for the first time, out right saying “You can’t win!” and initially refuses to go to Russia with Rocky.

Another great distinction Rocky IV has is the abscence of music by Bill Conti and the Rocky theme. Vince DiCola scores this amazing sound track adding to the otherworldly feel. Drago’s introduction in the final fight presents him as something mythological. Then there’s the montages. As the Angry Video Game Nerd pointed out, “dam, this movie’s like 20% montages.” We get not one, but two training montages, the fight montage, and of course that reflective one with Robert Tepper’s “No Easy Way Out” (Where’s Rocky driving in that montage anyway?). I’ve always loved that line “Talking about what it might have been. I’m thinking about what it used to be.” Heavy stuff. Vince Dicola also scored the Transformer’s movie sound track a year later, and that film’s score for Unicron, the evil robot planet, is somewhat similar to Drago’s theme.

The traditional Rocky music would not have worked here, as this whole movie is off the charts with it’s over the top-ness. It’s to the point of sheer lunacy, Drago’s punches are basically shown to be shot gun blasts (“Whatever he hits, he destroys!) but Rocky takes them. Stallone gets super ripped for the final fight, and yeah, Rocky’s been training in Russia for months but shows up to the fight with a golden California tan, really? It all doesn’t matter though. Rocky vs Drago is the greatest fight in the history of cinema. It’s epic, brutal, and un-relenting.

On a side note, I’d mentioned before Drago’s fate is one of the most intriguing things to me in the Rocky universe. I’m dying to know what happened to him after the fight. What did he do with himself after the Soviet Union collapsed?

No one will ever call Rocky IV a masterpiece of cinema, but that was never the point. Nothing that happens in this movie is a surprise, no one went into this doubting Rocky would win the fight. What we have is the pinnacle of raw 80’s entertainment. Rocky IV is unquestionably the most entertaining of the series. As the Angry Video Game Nerd would say, “Real men like Rocky IV”

Now that Creed, the Rocky spinoff, has hit $100 million at the box office, I’m sure it will get a sequel or two. I’d be happy to see more Creed movies, and it got me thinking about what else they could spin off out of the Rocky franchise. Here are some of my ideas.

1. Ivan Drago.

My favorite idea for a Rocky spinoff is a feature film about Ivan Drago. I’ve always wondered what happened to him after Rocky beat him. The Soviet government propped him up as their hero, so what did they do after the fight? Did Drago get sent off to prison in Siberia as punishment for losing? Did his wife leave him? What happened to him after the Soviet Union collapsed? Did he ever have any health effects from the Soviets juicing him up? Does he ever box again? There’s a real intriguing story to be told here, and with the international box office growing more important to Hollywood, I think a Drago film could work. Years ago there was a Rocky Legends video game where you could actually play a Drago story mode that told some of his story before the events of Rocky IV, and I heard there’s some Rocky book that says he kept boxing after Rocky IV. These secondary sources usually don’t count once new movies come out (See the Star Wars expanded universe). I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. A Drago movie with flashbacks of his younger days and showing his life after Rocky would be very intriguing.

2. Clubber Lang

Rocky III and Rocky IV are almost the same movie if you think about it. I don’t think a Clubber Lang movie would be as interesting as a Drago movie, but they could both be like stories of redemption. The thing is in my mind I don’t imagine Clubber boxing anymore after Rocky III. So I don’t think a movie would work. Maybe a TV movie, where he falls on hard times, maybe goes to jail, (The same Rocky video game I mentioned before has a Lang story mode that opens with him in jail). Maybe we could have some boxing/fighting scenes in jail, then he finds god and seeks redemption. In Rocky III he harasses Adrian. Maybe this story ends with him apologizing to Rocky and Adrian, and with him praying with Adrian at her bedside as she’s dying of cancer (With possibly Mr. T himself playing an older Lang). That’s a TV movie I’d watch.

3. Tommy Gunn

Rocky V is everyone’s least favorite Rocky movie, this is true even for Stallone himself. The subsequent two Rocky films do just about nothing to acknowledge it even existed. Hence I don’t imagine Tommy “The Machine” Gunn will ever be on film again. However a comic book or even a novel could tell the Tyson-esque story of him and his corrupt promoter in the 1990s world of boxing (Maybe he fights Drago, or hell even Lang).

4. Mickey

For years I’ve said I always wanted to see a movie about a young Mickey, Rocky’s manager. The thing is this story absolutely has to be tragic and horrible. Mickey wasn’t famous or well known to the general public before he managed Rocky. He was a bitter broken down old man. He must have had a little success I guess if he ran a gym, but still. Given the nature of movies I don’t imagine them going this route, but given how beautifully violent and dark Netflix’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones shows were, I think a Mickey Netflix show is the way to go.

The Netflix show could be set in the 1930’s during the depression, in all it’s sad and brutal glory. We could see that fight where his opponent put a nail in the thumb of his boxing glove and Mickey gets holes poked in his cheeks. He could have some girl but she dies tragically (Evidently he never had children). You can’t have anything work out for this guy. If the show was successful  it could eventually bring him up to how he opened his gym. Maybe he manages some other guy but the guy doesn’t listen to him and he never succeeds, or maybe he ditches Mickey and has success. I’m a little leary  of this last part, but we could even see why he never bothers with a young Rocky Balboa when he first comes to his gym in the early 70s.

This leads me to my least favorite pick for a Rocky spinoff, but the one I think would be the most likely to happen.

5. A young Rocky Balboa TV show.

Rocky’s story begins with his Cinderella shot to fight Apollo Creed. There’s little to nothing of his story to tell before that. If they really wanted to they could tell the story of how he first met Pauli and Adrian. They could also show how Mickey dismissed him, but I think that story would better be told in a Mickey Netflix show. In my opinion this is too close to the events of the first film to have any real meaning, but given it’s the lead character of the franchise I can see them trying this someday.

Well, here’s to a Drago movie and a Mickey Netflix show.

What do you think? What would you like to see?