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Creed II wouldn't exist without Rocky IV. For better, and for worse. So as you are coming home from Steven Caple Jr's hard-hitting sequel, dive back into Sylvester Stallone's 1985 classic, which expanded what was possible for the Rocky saga, and embraced every cheesy '80s cliché known to mankind.

The Honest Trailer for Rocky IV points out most of the things you assumed about the sequel, but maybe didn't take the time to vocalize. By the time the fourth chapter in the franchise rolled around, Rocky already had punched his way through Apollo Creed and Clubber Lang, and he needed a bigger challenge.

So he took on Communism. The entire political thought process behind Communism. Personified by the giant known as Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren, a perfect physical specimen).

To get there, though, Rocky IV needed some of the staples that had helped make the Rocky movies special. Yep, I'm talking about training montages. Lots of training montages. Including -- as they point out -- a montage ABOUT previous training montages from the earlier three Rocky movies.


The Honest Trailer takes its usual swipes. But it also educates. For example, did you know that Ivan Drago only had 46 words of dialogue in the entirety of Rocky IV? That's pretty awesome. His longest sentence might be, "If he dies, he dies." Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) isn't exactly loquacious, but Drago makes The Italian Stallion look like he's a character in a David Mamet play.

One thing that the Honest Trailer misses out on spoofing? The incredible 1980s soundtrack on display in Rocky IV. "Eye of the Tiger" always will be a rock track associated with the Rocky franchise. But Rocky IV has deeply memorable tunes, that often powered the montages.

If this doesn't get your heart pumping, nothing will:

What does this all have to do with Creed II? Well, if you didn't know, Ivan Drago killed Apollo Creed in Rocky IV, during a meaningless exhibition fight. Now that Apollo's son, Donnie (Michael B. Jordan), has stepped in the ring, he has a grudge match against Drago's son (Florian Munteanu). It's all going down.

Creed II is expected to do very well over the Thanksgiving holiday, competing with Ralph Breaks the Internet but pulling in tickets from a different fanbase. Will the Rocky saga continue in yet another movie after this? We shall see.

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