On December 3, Rocky turned 40 years old, providing us with a reasonable enough excuse to rant about the truly remarkable training montages that have popped up throughout the franchise, but both happening together almost feels like a sign. We must discuss the Rocky training montages. We have to.
So, let’s do that. Here are the six main training montages from the first six films (excluding Creed), ranked from mountain-climbing best to unspeakable, unspeakable worst.
A few notes:
- This video actually contains the two (2) training montages that take place in Rocky IV. It does not contain the other montage from Rocky IV, where Rocky drives his exotic sports car through Philly to the song “No Easy Way Out.” There are so many montages in Rocky IV.
- I love that this movie starts with Rocky as a retired millionaire with a personal robot and ends with him defeating the giant Soviet Adonis who punched his best friend to death, all thanks to a training regimen that relies heavily on tactics such as “moving some big rocks around.”
- It’s fun to imagine Rocky catching pneumonia on the mountain and having to cancel the fight after all that.
- It’s also fun to imagine the meltdown ESPN’s talking heads would have over this fight and his training methods if it took place today. (“Skip. Now you KNOW I’m from Philly. I LOVE Rocky. LOVE him. But you simply CAN NOT defeat a giant Russian by moving some rocks around. CAN’T DO IT.”)
- The funniest thing to happen in any movie ever is Rocky IV demonizing Drago and the Russians as dirty steroid-abusing cheaters while Stallone’s veins are sticking out of his comically sculpted muscles so far that they look like mountain ranges on a topographical map.
Number one with a bullet.