Sam Raimi’s trilogy is like a Wong Kar Wai movie with strong emphasis on a feeling of romantic longing.
Other than some odd editing choices this is far superior to the theatrical cut. It has more mature tone while retaining the heart of the franchise. It’s only 2 mins longer but is filled with alternate footage, dialogue, music, and editing that improves on a lot of the questionable choices in the original film. The greatest, yet subtle, improvement is the added depth to Drago’s character. However this film fails to improve on the weakest aspect of Rocky IV, not including the Rocky theme.