ROCKY IV is very thin, content-wise. Plenty of video montages to eat the clock allow for roughly 15 minutes of story in this move. And yes, some of those fifteen minutes are even recounted in at least one of those montages, for the song "No Easy Way Out," as I recall.
But the final bout with Rocky and Drago is tedius to watch. Rocky gets punched, and his wet hair sprays out water, in all directions. Drago gets punched and his wet hair sprays out in all directions. Rocky gets punched, and his wet hair ... on and on it goes for like, ten minutes. I have to fast-forward through most of this fight, it's so monotonous. Bridget Neilson was absolutely stunning, in the 8O's. Unfortunately, she did not have a nose for projects.
When I saw this movie in what? 1985, I was 17 and thought it was awesome. I could not get enough of this movie, especially when it came out on VHS, at the time. But even then, I remember feeling that the last fight went on far too long. Looking back on it now, Rocky moved the most into cartoonishness with this movie, though this process had first reared its ugly head in ROCKY II. Rocky III was much more blatant about it, but Rocky IV's completely unbelievable. And Adrian, who was so special and important to the original Rocky and so adorable, has now become a nagging housewife. When she finally shows up in Russia, I would've been like, "oh great! More nagging! I thought I escaped all that, when I skipped town." But she was a good girl when she arrived and didn't say or do much.
Apollo, of course, realizing he could make THIS movie and end up in an even worse sequel, took the coward's way out, fairly early on, in ROCKY IV. Despite this movie's many shortcomings, including Stallone's jarring direction - transitioning between scenes doesn't seem to be his strongsuit - it was 8O's gold and, I believe, the most successful of the Rocky's. Being from Philadelphia, PA, I can tell you that the city has changed much. Rocky's association with this city is really celebrated more by tourists, than by locals, it was all so long ago. But the Rocky statue has always remained a source of controversy, here. Is it a movie prop that belongs outside of a stadium, or sports bar? Is it a legitimate work of "art" that belongs outside the Art Museum? Had it not been for this switching around and debate over the statue, ROCKY just isn't a household word, anymore.