films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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John Rambo

2008 / 92m - USA
Action, War
John Rambo poster

Rocky IV

1985 / 91m - USA
Rocky IV poster

I never watched the Rocky series as a kid, nor am I a big fan of boxing. I've seen the first Rocky film, but didn't care much for it, so I skipped directly to the fourth one, which is notably shorter than the others and has a minor cult status. The quality of the film was nothing to write home about, though after seeing it I can kinda understand where it got that status.

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There are so many things wrong with this one, that it's almost impossible to know where to start. There's the complete failure to add some drama, especially with Stallone tripping over himself in an excruciating attempt to act. Or the completely nonsensical fight at the end, with Stallone looking like a sack of potatoes but still winning because of script. There's also the laughable pageant queen speech at the end, the fact that Drago is actually more likeable than Stallone and the unbearable pro-USA sentiments, that reach surreal heights during the finale. Makes you wonder if Stallone maybe wrote the script after having taken part in an actual boxing match.

The film is utter garbage, what saves it from complete ruin are some silly training scenes and an extended finale with two walking forts beating the crap out of each other. That's hardly highbrow entertainment, but there's at least some fun to be had there. Other than that, this was just terrible.

Rocky III

1982 / 99m - USA
Rocky III poster

The third entry in Stallone's Rocky series. A pretty basic sports/boxing flick, brought down by Stallone's bland direction and ridiculous performance. He does a pretty decent job when he's in the ring, but whenever he has to deliver his dialogue it becomes a complete fluke. Even a parody wouldn't be this silly.

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The plot is as predictable as you'd expect it to be, but at least Stallone's adversaries are pretty fun this time around. Hulk Hogan is given a little screen time and is allowed to show some of his signature wrestling tricks, but it's Mr T. who gets to play the ultimate bad guy. A real nasty piece of work and a fine opponent for Stallone.

The drama is painful to watch, the training sessions aren't much fun either (mostly because Stallone is pretty down) and the pacing is a little off. The boxing matches are pretty decent, but that's just two scenes really. All the rest is padding of questionable repute. It's really hard to see why this series ever became so popular.

The Expendables

2010 / 103m - USA
The Expendables poster

Rocky II

1979 / 119m - USA
Sport, Drama
Rocky II poster

Stallone directs the sequel to what will forever by his biggest legacy. He's certainly quite full of himself, as he doesn't merely aim to repeat the success of the first film, he seems to believe he can pull off a Scorsese and add a serious dash of drama to an otherwise simple boxing film. Well, he fails, and not exactly gracefully.

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After his fight against Creed, Rocky is the talk of the town. He gets lucrative deals thrown at him, but as he tries to cash in on his success, he quickly learns that he isn't really cut out to do much else. When his wife gets pregnant, it seems that Rocky will have to face Creed once again in order to secure the boxing title for real.

There isn't that much boxing here, apart from the final 20 minutes. The rest is a mix of drama and comedy that is almost too painful to watch. Stallone is a horrendous actor, none of the jokes land and the drama is so saccharine that you have to wonder why he even bothered. A complete fluke, even the fight at the end fails to raise the adrenaline.