Here’s yet another example of why the coronavirus is one of the worst things to happen to the world at this point, and while some people might want to ding me for this, I’ll just say it. Directors are going back to their old movies and getting the idea that more and more movies need a director’s cut for some reason. Now Rocky IV is up for a look and is being worked on at this time with Sylvester Stallone making it clear that it is coming. At this point, it really feels as though Stallone simply can’t step away from the business, but it’s starting to appear that it’s anything but the love of the job that’s keeping him around. For one reason or another, we’re going to get see Rocky IV done in a manner that will show more footage, despite the fact that a lot of people would gladly say that the movie was just fine the way it was. In fact, a lot of people would say that part 4 was pretty cheesy but the fights were pretty cool. From the training montages to the strange bits of dialogue and the idea that Apollo Creed just HAD to fight the upstart Russian to prove that he still had it, this movie kind of took itself down a road that didn’t need to be traveled, simply because people and Stallone were willing to keep going with a character that should have easily been allowed to rest at that point. Was the point of the Rocky movies to beat Rocky until he was an old man that couldn’t remember half of what his life had been? Obviously, through some clever maneuvering, this won’t be the case, but the suspension of belief is wearing thin.
But to bring back this movie and deliver it to the people with a new cut is something that’s enough to make a lot of people groan even as others begin to cheer since they can’t get enough of the Italian Stallion. The downside is that a lot of people have seen the movie, and a lot of people have seen the reality of taking too many shots to the head, and as a result, Rocky just doesn’t pan out as much any longer since someone with the size, strength, and speed of Drago should have been able to put Balboa down without much trouble, no matter how tough Rocky was. It’s true, smaller guys can be extraordinarily tough, and some of them can be absolutely deadly in the ring. But when your main skill in the ring is to lead with your face and hope like hell the other guy gets tired before he beats your brains to mush, there’s not much of a chance that a person would be able to walk back to their corner after some of the hits that Balboa took during the movie. Does anyone remember what happened at the beginning of the fifth movie when Rocky couldn’t get his hands to stop shaking? That part was realistic when it was announced that he’d simply taken too much punishment and couldn’t keep going. But lo and behold he gets into a street fight with this former pupil, Tommy Gunn, near the end of the movie. Why is it after stating that he was ready to step away from the character that Stallone can’t make good on his word? Obviously he wasn’t done or ready to be done, but the fact that he’s falling back on a director’s cut for the fourth movie makes it feel as though he might eventually start thinking about doing this to a few of this other movies.
Whether anyone agrees or not, a director’s cut isn’t always the answer to gaining more interest in a movie, as it’s not always better than the original version, and in some ways can be worse since there’s more footage and therefore more to be disappointed in, or impressed by depending on what’s being shown. But in this case, it really feels that Stallone should have just left the movie alone and allowed people to enjoy it as is. Of course, this won’t affect anyone that still likes the movie, but at the same time, it’s bound to make some people wonder just what Stallone was thinking since it’s a move that indicates that he’s either bored, broke (not likely), or is simply following what he might perceive as a trend that needs to happen. If that’s the case then someone needs to tell him that a director’s cut isn’t guaranteed to be better than the original viewing and that if people do end up not liking it that it’s not a good idea to try it with the other movies. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens though.