“You send out David. I’ll send out Goliath”: Sylvester Stallone’s $300M Rocky 4 Really Upset Russia

"You send out David. I'll send out Goliath": Sylvester Stallone's $300M Rocky 4 Really Upset Russia
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Sylvester Stallone’s name will go down in the annals of history as one of the greatest action superstars of Hollywood. The Italian Stallion became a bonafide superstar through 2 hugely popular film franchises, namely Rocky and Rambo, which went on to become huge grossers at the box office.

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Sylvester Stallone
Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone

The Rocky franchise stood the test of time and Stallone’s creative brain in scripting the narrative ensured that each installment had its own iconic place in Hollywood’s history. But one of the sequels in particular that hinted at the complicated relationship between America and Russia, caused a political flutter.

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Also Read: Despite Intense Rivalry, Arnold Schwarzenegger Agreed to $789 Franchise Role Due to Sylvester Stallone

Rocky 4 Stirred Unpleasant Memories Of The Cold War

Sylvester Stallone’s 4th film in the Rocky series followed the story of the protagonist’s journey to Russia to take on hulking Russian boxer Ivan Drago who was responsible for beating Rocky’s friend Apollo Creed to death during a fight. While the film was appreciated for its intense battles and rivalry, it was also at the centre of controversy with the Russians who criticized the franchise for stereotyping and judging them in an allegedly one-sided take on the 45-year-old Cold War between the two countries. Stallone defended his film and its intent saying,

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I wanted to show two guys fighting instead of 20 million, like they used to do in the old days — send out your best warrior. You send out David and I’ll send out Goliath and we’ll see what happens.”

Sylvester Stallone
A still from Rocky 4

Speaking of the current volatile environment between Russia and Ukraine, Stallone stated that it was tragic to see the ongoing crisis between the two countries which went against his principle of fair fighting that he endorsed in his films. Rocky 4 ultimately went on to become the highest-grosser of the franchise and also held the record for the most successful sports film for 24 years.

Also Read: “My part was not well written”: Arnold Schwarzenegger Hated $209M Sylvester Stallone Threequel for Making Him Too Expendable

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Sylvester Stallone Named Rambo 4 His Best Action Film

Apart from the cult boxing film series Rocky, Sylvester Stallone is also known widely for his other iconic action franchise Rambo. The actor credited Rambo 4 as the greatest of all his action films, apart from being his favorite in the series. But the movie which was set in Burma during the height of the civil war, did not appeal to many sections of the audience due to its graphic content. Speaking of the film, Stallone said,

“I got excoriated because the movie’s so violent. And it is violent. It’s horrifying. It’s children being burnt alive. That’s what makes civil war worse than anything: It’s your neighbor, all of a sudden, killing you”.

Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone in Rambo 4

The Expendables star also admitted that despite loving the way the film turned out, he was unsure about its reception in theaters due to its disturbing and traumatic visual images of suffering. Though not as successful as the first two installments, Rambo 4 still holds its place as an important film in the franchise.

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Also Read: “I wake up I feel like doing nothing”: After Staggering $4 Billion Hollywood Career, Sylvester Stallone Said Relaxing is “Human Nature”

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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Written by Sharanya Sankar

Sharanya Sankar, Writer for Fandomwire
Having completed her Masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Sharanya has a solid foundation in writing which is also one of her passions. She has worked previously with Book My show for a couple of years where she gained experience reviewing films and writing feature articles. Sharanya’s articles on film and pop culture have also been published on Film Companion, a popular film-based website. Apart from movies and pop culture, her interests include music and sports. She has contributed over 650 articles to Fandomwire so far.