Top Five Training Montages Anywhere, Ever

Of all the things that may divide us — race, religion, politics, tall spiky walls — the one thing everyone can agree on is how great training montages are.  Which, in all likelihood, isn’t even true, but for the sake of this article YOU WILL BE SILENT!!

Still, there’s no denying the appeal of becoming magically buff and sexy, or way better at something, with almost no time investment, and only as much effort as said tiny amount of time allows.  In Hollister, a small town not far from where I live, there’s a gym that advertises the Four Minute Workout; purportedly equating six hours of cardio and, I don’t know, nine days of strength training, or some equally absurd claim.  I haven’t checked it out yet, but I’m assuming they must utilize montages in some capacity.

Not long ago, I stated in my Facebook profile that I wanted to open up a montage center, and I actually wasn’t kidding at all.  If I had any idea how to go about it, I would be doing that right now.  And the idiotic thing is that it would probably be wildly successful.

But maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “Man, I don’t know; three minutes of vague exercise still sounds like a bit much.  Isn’t there something that takes even less resolve and work ethic?  Like, rather than being in a montage myself, couldn’t I just watch videos of some of the best?”

You got it, sweetcheeks:

Rocky III

:21–It bugs me that Rocky is such a dink about rhythm at first.  But, I suppose I’m analyzing from an unfair perspective, seeing as how I’ve always had an abnormally high level of funk for a white guy.  I think it has something to do with the fat.

:34–Please tell me that the cut-to-the-man-boob tank tops, that resemble nothing so much as a sort of floppy male sports bra, have been outlawed by now.

1:00–The stated purpose of this training–as declared by Apollo, if I remember correctly–is to teach Rocky to “move like a colored fighter.”  It should go without saying that this is no longer considered politically correct.  The accepted terminology is “put some hot fudge on that vanilla.”  Which, when it was in my head, did not sound like the gayest thing I would ever type.  But here we are.

2:23–Pauly doesn’t drown.  Damn.

2:55–Normally, I frown on the practice of inferring homoeroticism into perfectly platonic situations as being juvenile–except if it’s me; I get an exemption for being paranoid and catastrophically homophobic–but come on.  You have to admit, this scene is at least a little wobbly hand gesture.  And the hugging doesn’t bother me at all; it’s the frolicking and gleeful clapping.

Wet Hot American Summer

:02–Aaaand Coop’s hand-wavy crying makes things immediately hilarious.

1:11–Shades of “Eye of the Tiger” here…

1:21–I think it’s safe to say that this about as far from Elliot Stabler as Chris Meloni has ever been.  And yeah, I just about peed myself the first time.

1:45–Coop’s drama spaz is the previous entry’s only real competition for the “best part of the whole thing” award.

1:48–…whereas the vocals smack more of Conti’s “Gonna Fly Now.”

2:11–An important part of any montage regimen is learning how to talk about your feelings, and to just be comfortable in your own skin.

2:36–Obvious homage to Rocky III, albeit a fair bit less disquieting.  Everything, absolutely everything, should end with a victorious freeze-frame.

Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam aka “Turkish Star Wars”

:00–Okay, I’m going to go ahead and warn you right away; this may be the most spectacular thing you’ve ever seen.  If you feel that watching it may put you at a health risk, no one will think less of you for abstaining.

:01–Oh, and yeah, this isn’t the original version, but the song works too well not to use it.

:33–This is apparent elsewhere as well, but the fact that Captain Hero is attacking the rocks with the wrong kind of angry–like, about-to-cry-type angry–is especially glaring here.

:56–Yes!  Feel the dirt!  Dirt is POWER!!

1:05–I don’t know if the producers were honestly expecting us not to notice that the same character was being portrayed variously by two different actors, but I sure didn’t.  Not until very recently.  Both guys look about equally like somebody’s dad, but from this point on, the role switches permanently to the slightly doughier of the two.

1:55–Ha ha!  That little boy fell onto his bottom!  I am laughing about it because it’s a funny thing, and it happened!

2:18–I’m honestly not sure how to classify this facial expression.  Sort of like a hybrid of trying not to laugh, and… having a hard poop?  Not really appropriate for shattering rocks, in any event.

2:25–Finally, a movie that’s not afraid to pay long-overdue homage to the healing powers of salad.  Either that, or the lady was making stew, and was fresh out of canned hand blood.

Bloodsport (language warning for the video)

:04–Is it weird that the only reason I would go to Hong Kong is for the opportunity to get caught up in a huge gun battle?  That’s probably weird, isn’t it?

:51–When staging your illegal death fight, it’s imperative that the decor be just-so.

1:05–They can make breakaway… ice?  That can’t be real, can it?

1:15–Is anyone else made uncomfortable by the African monkey guy?  For me, this is one of those instances where something is offensive enough to override the fact that I don’t really have a vested interest.

1:24–For a martial arts film, Bloodsport is somewhat light on Asian men punching specifically at other Asian men–to my recollection, anyway; it’s usually Asian men punching at people of other cultures, or vice versa–I guess they get it all out of the way right from the get-go.

1:40–Not sure what this guy’s style is.  Brazilian… Hurt… Face?


1:55–Jackson’s style is defined as Vale Tudo.  No idea what that means.

2:10–Oh Jackson.  You did verily make a swear.  You naughty, naughty man.

2:18–Squishing people with a giant marshmallow is also a funny thing of jubilation!  So says the Samoan!  And he’s right, because he’s huge.  Also, he gets punched in the balls later, so I think we should let him have this one.

2:40–Am I the only one who expects the janitor to break out in song?  Like, about how he’s going to be in the Kumite for real someday?

Rocky IV

:09–A training montage is only as good as its musical accompaniment, and this one has one of the best.  Of course, I’m somewhat biased, as I have an almost Pavlovian love of droning synth.  Which, incidentally, is the official snow field… thing.  Snow fields and outer space.

1:00–Computers in the mid-80s were comprised almost entirely of colorful glowy bits that didn’t actually do anything.

1:42–Aside from making him 20% more evil, is there any practical benefit to Drago’s gym being red-lit?

2:16–Drago’s weird dog noises are somewhat out-of-step with his face.

2:50–I can’t help thinking that Drago made the better choice in this segment.  You know, sparring with an actual person, using boxing gloves and whatnot.  This must’ve been prior to Rocky being told that he would not be fighting a tree, nor would he be allowed to use an ax.

3:35–Wow!  Two montages for the price of one!  It’s like, the second one is so intense, Rocky had to go through a preliminary montage just to qualify for it.

4:03–Pauly doesn’t fall out of the loft and split his head open.  Damn.

5:58–Keep in mind that I’m not well-versed in physics as I say this, but this doesn’t seem like it would be as ungodly hard as it’s made out to be.  If Rocky really wants to impress me, he can pick up the end with the people in it.

6:29–Rocky can run on snow better than a Russian.  Actually, he is from Philly, so that may not be so hard to believe.

7:05–Still not sure if I’m more elated or horrified at the discovery that running on an inclined treadmill can give you an orgasm.

Honorable Mentions/Deliberate Omissions

The Karate Kid

I’m not sure this one even has a training montage, but I was almost certain that it did, and had originally intended to include it at Bloodsport‘s expense.  However, I couldn’t find anything of use on Youtube.  Apologies.

Team America: World Police

I left this one out, not because it isn’t a decent montage, but because I hate its associated movie so much.  Arbitrarily, mostly.  And I’ve only seen, cumulatively, about five minutes of it, so there’s probably a dash of willful ignorance there, too.

Because dammit, if you’re going to hate, that’s the way to do it.  Arbitrarily and ignorantly.  It’s disingenuous to try and church it up with some sort of rational grievance.


  1. I sincerely want the Turkish Star Wars played at my funeral on a giant screen behind my coffin. Is that too much to ask?

  2. The thing about the word “montage” is that it’s similar to the word “mirage,” which, in this context, is wholly appropriate.

    Until the scene with the healing power of salad, I kept asking myself, “How can he keep hitting those rocks without having his hands bleed?”

    Why is the movie called Turkish Star Wars? Does he go into space and have Turkish karate fights with Turkish sith lords?

    • I’ve never seen the whole thing, but as I understand it, it very naughtily and unauthorizedly splices in some footage from Real Star Wars.

      • You’re right. I found some clips on the web and it appears to steal quite a bit. It also uses the theme from the original Battlestar Galactica TV series. These people are shameless! I must find a copy.

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