Greatest movies of all time: ‘Rocky’ III, IV

By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer

Eye of the Tiger.

Do I need to say anything else? With countless iconic characters, moments and training 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 is a simple man — just an Italian guy from Philly who loves his wife, loves boxing and never gives up. For me, that’s all a protagonist needs.

“Rocky III” is probably one of the biggest draws in cinema history. Coming off the success of the first two “Rocky” movies, this movie took everything that made the other films enjoyable and multiplied it.

The main adversary of the movie is Clubber Lang, played by none other than Mr. T. He delivers one of the most iconic performances and does a great job of making the audience truly root against him. His rage and aggression act as a great foil to the always nice and calm Balboa.

After losing the first fight to Lang, Balboa goes through losing his trainer, Mickey. Losing Mickey is such a heartbreaking event that Balboa begins to spiral. The one and only Apollo Creed, a legendary character Balboa 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 well-known training montage to ever grace a screen — accompanied by easily the best song for such a scene and leading to the eventual defeat of Lang and redemption for Balboa.

All of that greatness in one movie, and “Rocky IV” is even better. Creed carries the first half of the movie with his charisma and confidence. Creed is lined up to fight up-and-coming boxer Ivan Drago, who had been destroying all of his opponents because he was on steroids.

Creed’s fight entrance to James Brown’s “Living in America” is all the propaganda it would take to get me to go to war for America. Maybe not, but you get what I’m saying. It’s awesome.

In Creed’s fight against Drago, it is made very apparent in the first round that he is in a very dangerous situation. In dramatic fashion, Creed is viciously knocked out in the second round and ends up dying in the fight. This set up the best one-liner ever to be written.

“If he dies, he dies,” Drago said.

Even the amount of times my mother has quoted this is immeasurable.

Of course, to avenge Apollo’s death, Rocky challenges Drago to a fight — because that’s really the only rational thing to do in this situation. Balboa then embarks on yet another awesome training montage.

Balboa proceeds to knock out Drago after a 15-round war. Then the bloody Rocky tells everyone watching 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 gave single-handedly ended the Cold War.

Maybe these two movies aren’t actually the greatest movies of all time, but from my experience, they are easily the most loved films. I have never met anyone who has seen and doesn’t love the “Rocky” movies, especially the third and fourth films. Both are great feel-good movies that help inspire viewers to keep on pushing no matter what.

Also, yes, “Rocky V” is the worst movie of all time.