hearts on fire

the interesting thing about rocky 4 is that it takes place no-where.  or that’s one of the (many?) interesting things about rocky 4.

half of rocky 4 is training montages which inter-cut rocky and drago performing the exact same exercises.  the difference, of course, is that drago is using high-tech science equipment (computers, treadmills, red lasers) to train while rocky trains with farm equipment.  (what’s funny about this, is that at this time the united state was far superior, technological-wise.  and even more so now.  today, the scientifically enhanced athletes are not coming out of the (ex)soviet bloc, but out of the united states.)  but even given the different technologies/equipment used to train, drago and rocky remain largely the same: they are both training their bodies to destroy other bodies, but the training and destruction of other bodies leads to the breakdown of their own body.

if there is a difference between the two, it’s something like this: it takes a totalitarian apparatus to force drago to become this destroying body, but rambo has already internalized this kind of subjectivity on his own.

i really like the end credits and song

but it reminds me of the end credits to another movie . . .



Filed under Brian

4 responses to “hearts on fire

  1. That’s a nice comparison between Dogville and Rocky. And I also like how you wrote that “rambo has already internalized…” Maybe it was a slip-up, but it’s interesting how similar the themes of Stallone’s films were. Except Rocky is constantly trying to deal with his fame and to reacquire his violent abilities, while Rambo is trying to escape them. Both have internalized the violence, though, and it’s that violence that enables their success. Cool.

    • brian

      the rambo and rocky films often seem reflections (refractions?) of each other. like this one and rambo 3 are almost identical movies.

  2. dude

    I remember seeing this on December 26, 198whenever it came out, and almost being stampeded on the way in.

    What always struck me a little odd is they seemed to be implying that Drago was using steroids. I think there’s some part where he’s being injected.

    The movie itself is pretty ridiculous. You have the over-the-top jingoism of Apollo Creed with US flags and James Brown. And by the end, it’s more jingoism (you wanna believe Cold War Russia is gonna turn on their guy and start chanting Rocky when the boxing match is a draw at best?).

    You could really do a whole Cold War treatment on the whole thing, because isn’t the Robot at the beginning some kinda Communist China slant?

    It’s not a great movie in the slightest, still iconic, yes, but it’s more of a time capsule movie. And the Rocky movies that Stallone directed just have this degraded quality to them.

    • there’s a part where they inject drago with something, presumably steroids. what’s funny is that most likely stallone was on steroids in real life. or if he wasn’t then, he’s on something performance enhancing drug now . . . maybe hgh.

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