The movie that some have said is directly responsible for helping end the Cold War is also a Christmas classic that you’ve been disrespecting.
Rocky IV already has a complex legacy in film. It leads to Rocky V (bad movie) Creed II (good and fun movie) and incredibly, Predator (great movie). We all know the story. Ivan Drago storms America and takes on Apollo Creed, who looks to make a patriotic payday on who he considers to be a bumbling Russian oaf.
He isn’t. Drago is not only a freakishly strong giant, but he can move. He destroys Apollo, killing him with his final punch. This leads to Rocky vacating the heavyweight world championship and following Drago to Russia for a Christmas Day showdown for revenge, honor, and the soul of the nation.
But, is it a Christmas movie? Here are the reasons as to why it might be.
This is a classic trope used in Hallmark movies. In nearly every one of their romantic holiday movies, there will be a dead parent or relative who great impacts the main character. Outside of Mick, who has a greater impact on Rocky than Apollo?
The Cranky Uncle
We all know Paulie as Rocky’s best friend and Adrian’s brother, which makes him Rocky Jr’s uncle. Paulie is as cranky as they come. He’s loveable for sure, but pair that with being a bit of a drunk, and you’ve got your perfect Christmas movie uncle.
The Crazy Gift
Sico! You can’t think of Paulie without his new robot butler, to whom he has an odd connection with. It is a huge and slightly unseemly gift, but just wacky enough to qualify with some of the best of them. Plus, he didn’t want it and complained, which is even better.
A Winter Wonderland
Krasnogourbinsk isn’t exactly where you’d choose to go on a vacation, but you can’t deny the views offered in the snowy Russian backdrop. A pristine wilderness, a quaint barn, and snow really provides a wonderful backdrop for a training montage, or for the background noise as you look at your fire and tree.
A Message of Hope
A standing ovation from a Soviet crowd. Drago going out to fight his fight, for him. The premier applauding Rocky. The to this day stirring speech of “If I can change, and you can change…” is the great hope at the end of the film. Rocky’s Christmas proclamation that helped end the Cold War, and is a stirring arousal of hope and good tidings.
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