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Rocky Is A Bad Father - And Rocky IV Director's Cut Makes It Worse

Sylvester Stallone's director's cut of Rocky IV further shows how Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) failed as a parent. Stallone released his recut of the fourth entry in the Rocky series, making some significant changes to Rocky's fourth outing. One of these changes, however, brings Rocky's parenting skills back into question.

A major conflict of the later Rocky installments, particularly that of Rocky V, has been Rocky's treatment of his son, Robert Balboa Jr. (Rocky Krakoff). In most of their scenes together throughout the films, Rocky is shown to be a caring father to his son, and it's obvious he really loves his kid. But despite clearly caring about him, Rocky seems to sideline his son whenever given the chance. The main conflict of Rocky V is Robert pining for the attention of his father, while Rocky is generally ignoring him in favor of boxing newcomer Tommy Gunn (Tommy Morrison), the film's deuteragonist-turned-secondary antagonist. Rocky's missteps as a parent have been a large part of the character's arc, especially with the Creed films, where he is shown wanting to correct these mistakes and once more be a part of Robert's life. But with the director's cut of Rocky IV, Stallone hasn't helped improve Rocky's standing as a father in the earlier years of Robert's life.

Related: Paulie Is Rocky vs. Drago's Biggest Loser

Robert Balboa Jr. is hardly present in the recut of Rocky IV, being reduced to one conversation with his father and a couple of background appearances throughout with barely any dialogue. There's hardly any focus on Robert at all, due to Rocky's drive for justice for the death of Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), his best friend and idol. Rocky gives so little thought to Robert, nor his wife Adrian (Talia Shire), and doesn't give much thought to the fact that he could easily die in the ring, same as Apollo, as he is facing the very same opponent that took his friend's life. Rocky is so caught up in avenging Apollo's death and bringing justice to Ivan Drago in the ring that he doesn't seem to care that he could leave his son without a father, as well as leaving his wife as a widow.

One scene that Stallone leaves out of the director's cut of Rocky IV is the scene of Robert watching the fight between him and Drago on his TV at home and cheering his dad on as Rocky defeats Ivan Drago. This was a key scene in showing the bond between Robert and his father, but it's left out of the film this time around, leaving Robert to almost feel like an afterthought to both Rocky and the film itself. Even in Rocky's final speech, he doesn't wish his son "Merry Christmas!" as he did in the 1985 cut of the film, instead keeping it mainly about Apollo than anything else, further showing Rocky's neglectfulness towards Robert.

Despite his later attempts to make up for his shortcomings as a parent, Rocky Balboa has proven time and time again to not be there for his son when it has mattered most. The main motivations of the Rocky franchise tend to involve Rocky Balboa's boxing career and the opponents he faces in the ring rather than him being there for his son. Despite obviously loving and caring about Robert, Rocky's career seems to come first and foremost. In his retirement, Rocky tries to make it up to Robert and be a larger part of his life, but it doesn't make up for the times that he has neglected Robert in his youth. Rocky may have been a loving father, but he was also a neglectful one, which Stallone's director's cut of Rocky IV further supports.

Next: Rocky 4 Director's Cut Differences: Every New Scene & Story Change

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