I’ve seen all of the Rocky movies, and I watched the first one again this past week, but Rocky IV, in which he goes to Soviet Russia to fight Ivan Drago, will always be my favorite. Throughout the Rocky series, Rocky is portrayed as the average American joe; a hard-working, honest blue-collar guy with a loving wife and friends. By portraying Rocky this way, even after he becomes rich and famous, the moviemakers are able to keep him connected with what they view as the majority of Americans. But what I love so much about Rocky IV is that they essentially have Rocky defeating the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and winning the Cold War for the United States.
In the first Rocky movie, Rocky lives the American Dream, going from rags-to-riches after getting the chance to fight on the national stage. This in itself is pretty momentous, the movie is telling people that if you keep working hard, you’ll get a break eventually and achieve all of your goals. In Rocky IV, this idea is taken 1000 steps further, because one guy essentially wins the Cold War. Rocky IV ends with the Soviet Russian crowd all cheering for Rocky, even though they hated him at first because he’s American. Overlooking the match are the Soviet government officials, who hate him too; but by the end, even they are willing to rethink their preconceptions. I believe that the movie implies that just as Americans believed certain negative stereotypes about the Russians, so too did the Russians believe certain negative stereotypes about us, and that at the end the Russians are cheering Rocky because they are willing to move past the stereotypes. One man changed all of their minds, which I believe is an American ideal as well, the idea of one person being able to make a real difference on the world. All of the Rocky movies are super American and patriotic, but Rocky IV is the most patriotic, because at that time, Russia and communism was everything Americans hated, and to defeat them was to tout your American pride.