Naturally, when asked to pick a favorite montage I had to be painfully obvious and choose Rocky IV. If I could program Star Trek Holodeck adventures for myself, one of them would totally be set in Hollywood's version of the Cold War, where it was better to be dead than red, and nuclear war was just five minutes away unless Stallone or Schwarzenegger stepped in. This is the culture that spawned characters like Marvel's Black Widow, and I too want to be an agent provocateur for one side or the other. Preferably Russian. They always had the cool black outfits.

That's why I dig the Rocky IV montage. It's steeped in images of what America firmly believed the Soviet Union to be -- a country of superior technology and gigantic athletes that could totally crush us. This is the stuff of my Reagan era childhood, when my teachers told us we would inevitably fall to the hammer and sickle because the Soviets were just so relentlessly ruthless and badass. No one captures this better than Ivan Drago. To gaze on him is to look into Reagan's fear of the Evil Empire. Drago's the poster child for why we needed a lot of nukes in the 1980s. Even better, this montage also captures what we believed pre-Revolutionary Russia to be, which is clearly something out of Doctor Zhivago. Like Leo Tolstoy, Sylvester Stallone obviously believed that Russia lost its way when it strayed from its peasant soul, and he embraces its hearty lifestyle of serfdom in order to achieve true victory.

Watch the video after the jump