Will Rocky IV Director Cut Be Worse Than The Original Cut?

Rocky IV ⭐️⭐️½ 

Before getting to the topic of this post, happy Valentine’s Day to all who celebrate. Hope you can spend at least some of it with the ones you love today.

Sylvester Stallone has been working on a director’s cut of Rocky IV for some time now, with the only real news is the minor controversial removal of Pauly’s robot (see: Sico The Robot’s Owner Cries Foul On Being Cut From Rocky IV Director Cut)

A spoiler alert. If you haven’t seen Rocky IV, yet, this post contains spoilers, so might want to exit at this point.

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

The original plan seemed to have been to have it ready in time for the 35th anniversary. Since that has come and gone, no release date has been announced. Cinemablend ponders a deeper question, that maybe the director’s cut will be worse than the original theatrical cut.

A Rocky IV new cut is most interesting because it’s something that i don’t think a lot of people were really looking for. Frequently, Director’s Cuts end up existing because the director had a problem with the final version of the film. The movie that we got was not the one that the director wanted to present. Yet, there’s been no indication that’s the case with Rocky IV. Everybody seems to love that movie, so the idea of changing could actually do more harm than good. We’ll find out very soon.

Sylvester Stallone Shares An Update On His Rocky IV Director’s Cut – CINEMABLEND

First off, have to take exception with the idea that “everybody seems to love that movie” — um, no. It’s one of the more mediocre Rocky movies in the series (see: Ranking Stallone’s Rocky and Creed Films). It’s full of 80s shlock and cold war politics stupidity. Ivan Drago is a comically, steroids-infused opponent and it’s got two very, very long training montages. That said, it has some great dramatic moments involving Apollo Creed, awesome music (Robert Tepper, see: Rocky 4 Director’s Cut Will Not Have Paulie’s Funky Robot) and an epic, if cartoonish final fight that leaves Rocky brain battered.

This all got me thinking again (see: Sylvester Stallone Confirms Rocky IV Director’s Cut will be “amazing” – What would make it better?), but instead of what would make it better, if anything Stallone could cut to make it better? Removing Pauly’s rather pointless robot, Sico, is a start, but the cutting doesn’t end there. Do we need the James Brown “Living In America” concert performance before the exhibition fight between Apollo and Drago? Do we need the Rocky flashback video to Robert Tepper’s “No Easy Way Out”? Do we need to have multiple training montages in Russia? If all of that were cut, the runtime would be less than hour.

The bottom line, the actual storyline for Rocky IV is pretty bare bones. If you take out the extraneous stuff that makes it almost like an MTV video movie — again, good music, not bashing that — what’s left? A story about Rocky in revenge mode in Russia? Yeah, that’s about it.

The more I think about a director’s cut of Rocky IV, the less interested it all seems. It’s a chance to refresh the movie for others to watch, but honestly in retrospect, it’s not a very good movie, except perhaps providing a dramatic arc to the evolving relationship between Apollo and Rocky. What does it do for Adrian and Rocky? Nothing. They have a fight about Russia and loss. Pauly is shoehorned into the story with no real purpose. No Mick, he’s already gone, but we get Apollo’s main trainer, Duke, that again doesn’t do much. In fact, he mostly steps aside so Rocky can mostly train himself.

It’s funny how rewatching some movies, revisiting them, can sometimes ruin the original viewing experience. This is a movie I thought was entertaining, but weak, in the 80s, now 35+ years later, it feels even weaker.

Can Stallone’s director’s cut make it worse? Maybe it can. What do you think?

Sico The Robot’s Owner Cries Foul On Being Cut From Rocky IV Director Cut

Rocky IV ⭐️⭐️½ 

Poor Sico.

Is Sico pronounced “s-eye-koh” or “sicko”? Didn’t know that was the name of the Rocky IV robot which, frankly, I doubted ever to be writing about here again.

Alas, there’s controversy with the owner of the Sico. He thinks Stallone is cutting his robot because it will mean he won’t get residuals if the robot isn’t in the director’s cut.

No doubt many Rocky fans will miss Sico the robot when Rocky IV the director’s cut comes out, but at the end of the day Stallone is the film’s director and he gets the final call on what goes into his cut of the movie. If he’s cutting the scenes for the reasons Doornick lays out, then it’s arguably rather sad. If however he’s cutting them for pacing reasons, or simply because he thinks the robot strikes the wrong tone for Rocky IV, then that’s a different story.

Stallone Cutting Rocky 4’s Robot Is A Money-Saving PR Stunt, Says Creator

As already stated, I will not be one of the “many” that will be missing Paulie’s robot. I’m also calling this bogus. Why would Stallone care if the robot owner makes a few bucks? The director’s cut won’t generate the kind of revenue the original Rocky IV has, which negates his entire point that a bonus version will make that much of a financial difference on his checks.

Relax, Mr. Doornick, you’ll keep getting checks for Sico. I’m a fan of the Rocky films, not this one as much, but still, I didn’t even know the robot’s name.

Rocky 4 Director’s Cut Will Not Have Paulie’s Funky Robot

Sylvester Stallone has teased bits and pieces of his director’s cut of Rocky IV, saying that it would be “amazing”and that he was cutting Paulie’s strange, rolling robot.

Sly responded to some fans’ queries about the bot, and he says, “The robot is going to the junkyard forever. No more robot,” while adding to another fan, “I don’t like the robot anymore.”


I never quite understood how the robot fit the story anyway (was it supposed to show how we were in modern times and give Paulie something else to do besides be a flunkie friend?) and apparently Sly doesn’t groove on it any more either. Granted, a convenient prop for when Apollo calls to say he wants to come out that Rocky can break from washing his car and take the call directly from the robot.

Maybe an edit to the Rocky washes his car scene, telling his son that he fights so his son doesn’t have to fight, then cut to Apollo showing up at the house to talk over the Drago exhibition fight with Rocky, Adrian and Paulie. Again, to cut the robot out of there is fairly easy. Paulie won’t get to say that uber cheesy line about the robot, “She loves me!” or maybe have the kid spraying him with whipped cream and the robot answering, “I’ll clean it up for you, Paulie.”

Cut the camp, it probably makes the immediacy of the exhibition fight between Apollo and Drago more dramatized. I like the idea.

But what else will be cut in Rocky IV?

While Stallone has been largely silent about progress on the director’s cut thus far, he did promise in an Instagram reply to a fan that this new version of Rocky IV will be “amazing.” Even if there’s not much to go off, Stallone’s comment was still eagerly received by fans, many of whom are ready to see Rocky step back into the ring.

Rocky 4 Director’s Cut Fan Poster Highlights Balboa’s Fight With Ivan Drago

Will the awesome video montage from Robert Tepper’s “No Easy Way Out” be cut? Loved that song, as it serves as a good way for Rocky to relive the past few movies. My guess is Sly leaves that in.

Over 35 million views on YouTube of this video:

Here’s another video of a much older Robert Tepper performing “No Easy Way Out” live at the Whisky A Go Go in 2016:

A pretty faithful live version for a well-aged Robert Tepper. Could have probably done without the sweating t-shirt look, but hey, this is an 80s iconic song from a freaking 63-year old man — major respect!!

I think Stallone really wanted to push music in Rocky in this film. There is also the “Burning Heart” by Survivor sequence when he gets off the plane in Russia. Perhaps he was trying to rekindle the Rocky III magic of “Eye of the Tiger” also by Survivor, but that’s just a much better song. Also, that movie has Mr. T as Clubber Lang which is a better antagonist than the barely speaking, mountain of a man, Ivan Drago (Dolph Lungren).

If you’re wondering how we rank the Rocky films, see: Ranking Stallone’s Rocky and Creed Films

What would you cut in Rocky IV? Is there anything you’d add, assuming there is extra footage available? Perhaps a longer final fight or exhibition fight? Scrapping between Drago and Rocky at the press conference? A longer — or shorter — training montage? Less Paulie and Adrian? More?

Ahh, the possibilities! It’s fun thinking about how to retool classic movies. It would be cool if they put up all the footage and let fans cut the film. #ReleaseTheFanCut. I bet fans cutting films would make for some very interesting and perhaps endlessly watchable versions of films. Someday, maybe.

Sylvester Stallone Confirms Rocky IV Director’s Cut will be “amazing” – What would make it better?

Are you excited about a Rocky IV Director’s Cut? Yes or no, it’s “amazing” says Stallone.

Rocky IV ⭐️⭐️½ 

Of all the Rocky films to offer a Director’s Cut, one definitely toward the bottom of the list (for me, anyway) would be the one co-starring Dolph Lundgren’s iconic Russian pugilist Ivan Drago.

Too bad, according to Stallone, it’s coming and he has one word to describe it …

Sylvester Stallone has revealed that he is working on a director’s cut of Rocky IV, which he says will be “amazing.”

Rocky IV: Sylvester Stallone Confirms He’s Working on a Director’s Cut – IGN

This movie is ranked #7 out of 8 on my Rocky ranked films list (see: Ranking Stallone’s Rocky and Creed Films). Ouch, only the mediocre Rocky V starring the late real fighter Tommy Morrison as Tommy Gunn would get me less excited.

This is the era of popularity for alternative versions (see: More Director’s and Extended Cuts, yes, Snyder Cut is Coming To HBO Max in 2021), This weekend HBO Max has released Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition, which adds 30+ minutes to the original theatrical release. Clearly, they are whetting the appetite of Snyder cut fans.

Now back to Rocky IV: The Director’s Cut. No release date was mentioned in any of the sources I clicked through and read, just restating that Stallone confirmed it. Rather than just do that here, let’s discuss what we’d like to see in an alternate cut of this movie.

Here are a few things I think would make Rocky IV better:

  • More Carl ‘Apollo Creed’ Weathers hyping the “exhibition fight that doesn’t mean anything” – I love it when he talks smack in the Rocky films
  • Drago with a few more barely intelligible lines like, “I must break you.”
  • Drago and Rocky mixing it up at the press conference. I always thought Stallone played Rocky too subdued as he announced the fight with Drago would be in Russia. It was his then wife Bridget Nielson as Drago’s wife that has all the passion in that scene. Give me Rocky throwing down with somebody, shoving somebody, something. Instead he plays that scene too Debbie downer mode. Sure, his friend was killed, but … well, come on.
  • Eliminate or severely cut that utterly stupid end of the Russia fight speech “If I can change, you can change, we can all change!” — one of the most out of character Rocky speeches in any of the filmse
  • Was there a third training montage we could have? No, no, I’m kidding here. I did like Survivor’s song “Burning Heart” but it played off too much like trying to recapture the magic of “Eye of The Tiger” from Rocky III.

Shall I go on? Let’s use the comments. What would you like to see in a Rocky IV Director’s Cut? Or would you not like to see one at all? Which Rocky film deserves a Director’s Cut?