1ST PLACE: “ROCKY”
Because Sylvester Stallone then insisted on playing the lead role after the script was written, while the studio would have preferred a seasoned Hollywood star for the part, the budget was cut in half. Well, afterwards you are always smarter – and luckily there were only winners: “Rocky” became the most successful film of 1976 and also won ten Oscar nominations (including two for Stallone personally). You can watch this part of Rocky as well as all the below parts and watch movies online on free2watch.
“Rocky” is so much more than “just” the perfect underdog sports drama – it is also an absolutely brilliant character and milieu study about the working class in Philadelphia. One of THE classics in film history – and the instant breakthrough to superstar status for Stallone! How many times did it happen that an action star wrote his first big role for himself – and was then awarded an Oscar nomination for the best script (!) For it! The success of the “Rocky” film is a very similar underdog triumph to the rise of amateur boxer Rocky Balboa to the World Cup contender…
2ND PLACE: “ROCKY BALBOA”
17 years after the previous film there was still a new part – with a Sylvester Stallone, who had already passed the age of 60 at the time and still rockets a young world boxing champion as Rocky Balboa. That sounds like unbelievable nonsense – an obviously desperately pushed late trash mechanism to squeeze the last dollar out of the unused franchise. But puff cake!
After parts 2 to 5 turned towards genre cinema, Stallone in ” Rocky Balboa ” returned to the original strengths of the series – and so the sixth film thrilled not only as a rousing sports drama (that its much younger opponent was up for it a fair fight first has to break your arm, free), but also as a moving milieu study with lots of passion. Of course, Stallone was a multimillionaire at that time – but he still writes much more credibly about the problems of the “little man” than most Hollywood authors. An amazing comeback!
3RD PLACE: “ROCKY II”
The rematch against Apollo Creed – and for this Sylvester Stallone not only contributed the script for the first time, but also took over the directing himself: The structure of ” Rocky II – The Revenge ” is similar to that of the first part. Stallone skillfully tightens the tension screw, while at the same time increasing the emotional pressure on his protagonist – until in the end everything unloads in a boxing duel that is even more spectacular and stirring than the original.
“The Revenge” is one of these sequels, which above all offers the viewer even more of what he loved so much about the original – but if everyone did it at the level of “Rocky II”, Sequels would certainly not have such a bad reputation.
4: “ROCKY III”
With the third part, the series slowly says goodbye to its roots – and turns more and more into a sports action film. But if that is as much fun as with ” Rocky III – In the Eye of the Tiger “, this is of course a more than legitimate way: Instead of precise milieu descriptions, Sylvester Stallone increasingly relies on stereotypes in his script – but he gets the most out of them entertainment, especially in the once again excellent choreographed fight scenes.
“A-Team” cult star Mr. T is a worthy opponent, who can be relieved immediately that he, as a talented and big-mouthed clubber Lang, easily blows himself up the world rankings. “Rocky III” may not be as demanding as its predecessors – but it is almost even more fun!
5TH PLACE: “ROCKY IV”
With ” Rocky IV – The Battle of the Century ” Sylvester Stallone really gets everything out of the Cold War animosities between the USA and the Soviet Union – and with the Swede (!) Dolph Lundgren he has the perfect actor for the role of his opponent Ivan Drago found. It is absolutely no wonder that this iconic storyline in sports film history was actually continued again in “Creed 2 – Rocky’s Legacy” more than 30 years later!
The duel Rocky Balboa Vs. Ivan Drago is actually a “battle of the century” – despite all the iron curtain clichés! The two boxers put in the fight a dozen times more than even the strongest man on the planet could take – but this exaggeration happens in a way that doesn’t pull you out of the fight, but only pulls you in more. On the border of trash? Maybe. But still cool …
6TH PLACE: “ROCKY V”
” Rocky V ” is, as I said, the film that we always get the most disagreement with – because for us the border to trash has not only been crossed long ago, we find the story about Rocky Balboa, the young up-and-coming heavyweight Tommy Gunn ( Tommy Morrison ) begins to manage, even stupidly. And newcomer Morrison is a full-time professional boxer and not an actor, which can be seen in his effort, rather than light-footed, in every scene.