Has anyone tried to tell Stallone to just stop already? So many people have been crying out for a director’s cut of everything that it’s surpassed the trend phase and become an obsession that’s kind of tiring really since not every director’s cut is bound to be better than the original theatrical version. As far as Stallone’s claim that the remake process is always the point of a movie, it’s hard to argue with someone trying to get their point across, and to think that someone didn’t get their chance to really voice their idea thanks to the studio stepping in and saying that it was time to be done. But there are times such as the current day when it’s time to just say enough since it’s evident that the main point that some folks were trying to get through would have been too much exposition, not enough action, and a movie that feels both disjointed and somehow less impressive than the theatrical version. This is already how Rocky IV feels like it will be since apparently there’s an added fight scene between Rocky and Drago, the SICO robot has been completely omitted, and it’s likely that there’s other footage to show as well. But really, we’re not looking forward to any of it since as thin and as goofy as the Rocky movies became, it doesn’t feel as though going back is going to do anything other than make them a little worse.
Obviously there are plenty of enthused fans out there that will be hoping to see this and won’t even think twice before watching this since it’s Rocky, of course people are going to flock to it. Even if they happen to make fun of the franchise and call Stallone washed up, people will come to see the movie and experience it so that they can continue to come up with material to use in mocking it. But the point here isn’t to mock the story, it’s to state that while Rocky IV and everything else past the second movie was kind of a nod to Stallone’s continually expanding ego, it was still a decent story beneath the cheesiest parts. The problem with delivering a director’s cut though is that people have been used to the theatrical version for so long that it’s kind of like ‘why bother?’. Seriously, at times it feels as though Stallone’s trying to close out his best characters and give them some closure, and then once he gets in there and gets the taste for it again he continues to make movies, as there’s a rumor that he’s going to try to make another couple Rocky movies, a young Rocky and a sequel that will see Balboa taking on another protege. Is he trying to become Mick at this point? How long will be until every movie that comes out will have a director’s cut because the director didn’t get to ‘finish their vision’ with what they were given? This is one problem with anyone that seeks to create something, and as an author I know this quite well, there’s never enough time and there’s never enough money to make that perfect masterpiece, at least not in the view of some folks. Others might argue and say that yes, they did manage to tell the story they wanted and are content with it.
Being content is a small lie that a lot of creator’s tell themselves, but being able to finish a story and walk away is just as important as telling the story since it’s way too easy for a creator to bury their own story as it hits rock bottom and keeps grinding along. While Stallone won’t be showing up in Creed again, which is a good idea, it might be time to just bow out and admit that Rocky is retired, he’s done, and he gets to experience the good years with his son and grandkid. The director’s cut is becoming an epidemic in show business since at one point they were nice to see since they offered more to the movie, moments that helped to further explain a scene or expanded on it in ways that were fun to watch. But these days it’s being used as an excuse to allow directors to essentially remake their movies and add and subtract things that were a part of the original release but perhaps didn’t work quite as well as someone wanted. In essence, they’re becoming a chance to change what a director figured was a mistake and to introduce footage that they might have shot that didn’t really fit with the story but they believed could help things to develop further and improve the overall narrative. We’ll have to wait and see how Rocky IV holds up, but there’s not a lot of hope for it right now.