The character of Ivan Drago played by Dolph Lundgren is often seen as one of the weakest characters in term of acting and depth. I would disagree here because of the nature of the boxer. The man is supposed to be a cold Russian boxer with a seemingly robotic personality and will in the ring. I think Dolph Lundgren captures this perfectly and nails the role of Ivan Drago.
At the beginning of Rocky IV there is little the fans are shown about Ivan Drago other than the fact that he is very big and supposedly a very highly thought of boxing prospect. When the fight is proposed against Apollo Creed he is given little chance because after all at this point Apollo Creed was 46-1 as a professional and former champion. But age would play a factor as the towering Russian would corner the smaller heavyweight and unleash some awesome power eventually killing the former champion.
Any doubts about the ability of Ivan Drago in the ring was wiped out with that win and the post-fight comment “If he dies, he dies” surely had to make people think twice about saying otherwise. In the series it’s said that the character had a 100-0 amateur record and an Olympic Gold Medal before making his professional debut against Apollo Creed. So that means he leaves the series with a 1-1 record after losing a tough 15-round fight to Rocky Balboa.
The Ivan Drago character played by Dolph Lundgren shows little emotion throughout Rocky IV but there are moments and actions were a glimpse is offered inside the steely European boxer. While many of the training methods involved illegal drugs he still was a workout warrior and any person that is that focused to achieve a goal is gonna eventually get what they want in some way or another. Then in the final fight against Rocky Balboa he declares to everyone all over his back about winning that he fights for himself and not Russia.