January 24, 2013

Rocky 2 (1979)
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burgess Meredith, and Carl Weathers


Comments:    Ah yes.  Rocky 2.  For as many years as I can remember, it has been considered the black sheep of the early Rocky movies.

Seriously, ask anyone you know what their favorite Rocky movie is.  Ignore the few inevitable answers of "All the Rocky movies are stupid, I hate them all" and just focus on the real answers instead.  Inevitably, almost every single person you ask is going to say that their favorite is "Rocky" or "Rocky 3."  Those have always been the two most popular movies in the franchise, and for good reason.  Both Rocky and Rocky 3 are fantastic pieces of entertainment.

Nuff said

Of course you will probably get a bunch of people who claim that Rocky 4 is their favorite, but I have always believed that the love for Rocky 4 has been more ironic than anything else.  To me that is just people rallying around a movie that is dumb and improbable and ridiculous.  Yet because it is fun people love to ironically like it.  Kind of like when people say they enjoy The Room.  I can't honestly believe that anyone actually THINKS that Rocky 4 is the best Rocky movie.

This really isn't a slam on Rocky 4, by the way.  I love the touching story of Ivan Drago as much as the next guy.  I just think it is a giant piece of crap.  But hey, pieces of crap can be fun too, can't they?  Isn't the entire career of Adam Sandler sort of based around that principle?

Shampoo is better. I go on first and clean the hair. Conditioner is better. I leave the hair silky and smooth. Oh, really, fool?

So anyway these are the three Rocky movies that people always say is their favorite.  In order, I would guess that most people will say Rocky 3, then Rocky just, and then because they are being hip and ironic, Rocky 4.  And then of course some people will say "Rocky Balboa", but we can deal with those people later.

My point being, nobody EVER says Rocky 2.  Eve.  You could ask this question to five hundred Rocky fans and I would guess that not more than one person you ask will ever say Rocky 2.  And that person will probably be confused because they thought that 2 was the one with Mr. T.

Yeah but can Mr. T get a stew going, baby?

Now I am not going to sit here and claim that Rocky 2 is the best movie in the series.  I probably COULD make that argument if I really wanted to (a lot of people in the IMDB comments below actually do make that argument), but for me I am sad to say that yes, I am but one of many.  Rocky 3 is my favorite of the Rocky movies too.  I wish I could say I am special and different, but I'm not.

However, I do think that Rocky 2 is the second best Rocky movie.  And I feel very strongly that in no way should it get treated like a black sheep of the franchise anymore.  That is the way Rocky 2 has been treated for years, and I think that the world really needs to stop that.

Side note:  Of course some of you are reading this and thinking, "Wait, I thought Rocky 5 was the black sheep of the Rocky movies.  I thought that was the one that everyone hated."  Well yes and no.  I mean yes Rocky 5 is hated, but at least people remember 5.  I bet if you asked 500 people which Rocky movie was the best, 5 will get about as many votes as 2 will.  That is my prediction.  Test it out.

And now we come to the inevitable question.  What makes Rocky 2 so forgettable in so many people's eyes?  I mean, how can a movie this good and this inspiring have such a crappy rating on the Internet Movie Database?  Because let me tell you, I watch Rocky 2 all the time.  I have watched it far more often than any of the other Rocky movies.  And this movie is fantastic.  It is easily right up there with any of the best sequels ever made.  In fact I have always said that it does just about everything that the first Rocky movie did, only better.

Yet again, this movie gets treated like crap.  Not only does it NOT get praised, but most people don't even care enough about it to trash it.  So it just doesn't get talked about at all.  And that is almost worse than if people just actively hated it.

Being ignored gives me and Butkus a sad

Bill Simmons (of ESPN.com) will go so far as to call Rocky 2 "a chick flick."  He has long said that Rocky 2 is his least favorite of the early Rocky movies. And that it is almost as if Sylvester Stallone intentionally set out to write a Rocky movie for women.

Now there is probably some truth in that.  I can see how some people would be a little turned off by the lack of action in Rocky 2.  It is in no way as action packed or as testosterone laden as the later movies.  In fact the first hour of Rocky 2 is basically a big soap opera.  It really isn't a guy movie at all.

But again, this is what I think makes Rocky 2 so good.  

The reason I love Rocky 2 is because this is NOT your average every day movie sequel.  This is NOT just a brainless attempt to cash in by repeating the exact same formula as the original.  No way.  I know that people think it is, since it is the story of Rocky fighting Apollo for the second time, but the path which they follow to get to that fight is a lot different than in most stupid movie sequels.  You watch Rocky 2 and it all makes sense how they get there.  It is very realistic.  It is very much what would have happened in real life if there had ever been a fight like this.

Wow, Apollo looks pretty mad

What people tend to forget about Rocky 2 is how realistic it is.  And how gritty it is.  It isn't a big flashy glitzy sequel at all.  When Sylvester Stallone sat down to write it, he really took his time and he did it correctly.  In fact, in many ways, it is the complete opposite of how most people approach sequels when they sit down to write them.

Rocky 2 picks up the minute that the original left off.  There is no transition, there is no passage of time.  It picks up the minute that Rocky left off.  And it follows a very realistic arc as to what would have happened to Rocky's life after that fight.

Again, nothing flashy.  Nothing fancy.  Nothing Hollywood.  Here is what would have happened to Rocky in the days and weeks after he lost to Apollo.  And yes, as you can imagine, it probably wouldn't have been pretty.  After all, Rocky didn't make a lot of money in that fight.  He didn't win, so no one really cared about him afterwards.  All he had was a little bit of money, and about fifteen minutes of fame.  And frankly, he probably would have thought he was a bigger deal than he actually was.

This is all very realistic to what would have happened in real life.  The fact that Rocky (who remember, was uneducated and who didn't have a clue how money worked) would have been taken advantage of and would have had a huge downfall is absolutely 100% accurate what would have happened in real life.  And I have always applauded Sylvester Stallone that he didn't take the easy way out when he wrote the script.   He knew that Rocky would have had a really hard time after that fight, and that in no way would be have been able to live like a celebrity.  And I love it because most sequels would have been too afraid to shit on their hero like that.

In other words, this movie really isn't a sequel at all, it is more of an addendum.  It is what would have happened directly AFTER Rocky.  Most of it is also a lot more realistic than Rocky.

A broke loser

Every time I watch Rocky 2 I am more and more impressed by it.  Because like I said before, it really is different than most movie sequels.  It is so far away from Rocky 3 and 4 that it is hard to say they are even a part of the same franchise.  It is waaaaaaay more grounded in reality and waaaaaaay more grounded in the real world.  I mean people forget, Rocky won Best Picture in 1976, and Rocky 2 probably could have been nominated too.  At the time it was considered the most successful sequel in the history of Hollywood (look it up, this is true).

One of the other things that stands out when I watch Rocky 2 is the fact that Sylvester Stallone directed it.  I mean, you can make fun of the guy all you want.  You can call Sylvester Stallone a big joke. You can say that all of his movies are stupid.  But Rocky 2 was his baby through and through.  He wrote it, he starred in it, he directed it, he edited it.  He trained for it.  He apparently spent eight months just editing the final fight.  And I think it is a shame that so many people don't give him credit for this.  Rocky 2 easily could have been a quickie sequel that just cashed in on the success of the original.  It could have easily turned out to be an embarrassing disaster.  Yet it didn't.  Again, like I said, in 1979 this was considered the most successful sequel in the history of Hollywood.  The fact that it is so close in spirit to the original (so close that people often get parts 1 and 2 confused) is something that should be commended, not seen as a negative.

Here's a hint.  If Rocky is wearing black and gold, it is Rocky 2.

Here is something that I noticed on my last rewatch of Rocky 2.  This is something that most people might not have ever caught.

The storyline of Rocky's fight with Apollo (Rocky learns how to fight right handed, and then saves his left hand for the final round when he really needs it) is the EXACT same thing that Stallone tried to do when he wrote the screenplay.  In fact it is amazing how close the parallels are when you sit down and you pay attention to them.

Rocky 2 starts off as a chick flick.  Bill Simmons is right, it totally does.  It really isn't a guy movie at all, Stallone completely strays away from making a kick ass story about Rocky being a badass.  Instead he sat down and he wrote a love story.  It is all about Adrian and Rocky, and how they get married.  And how they start a family.  And how Adrian wants Rocky to settle down and actually be a role model to his son.  Again, Stallone opts to go in the direction of writing the story as it would have happened in real life, as opposed to "fighting with his left hand" and just doing the exact same screenplay that he did before.

Most of Rocky 2 is spent on the secondary characters.  It is spent letting us get to know Apollo (Carl Weathers is really good in Rocky 2, by the way).  We get to learn Mickey.  We see the story of Rocky and Adrian.  There is almost no Rocky and there is almost no boxing whatsoever.  It is just the story of a guy who used to be a big deal, and now he suddenly isn't anymore.  And it is actually kind of sad.

The entire first half of the movie is Rocky settling down and marrying Adrian

And then, just when you think that the movie is going to turn into a love story melodrama (Oh no, Adrian fell into a coma!  Oh no, Rocky has brain damage!  Oh no, Rocky might lose his right eye!  Oh no, their life is over!) that's when Stallone decides to go back to fighting left handed.  That is when he makes that turn.  And when he does it, it is as effective as when Rocky the boxer does it in the last round against Apollo.

Anyone who has ever seen Rocky 2 knows the exact scene I am talking about.  This is where Stallone the writer goes back to fighting left handed.  Adrian wakes up from her coma, and she and Rocky talk about their plans for the future.  And then she tells him she wants him to do one thing for her.

"What's that?"


(cue the Bill Conti music)

"Do one thing for me.  Win."

I have to say, I have seen a lot of big moments in movies.  I have seen a lot of effective movie chill scenes.  But I am not sure I have EVER seen a better movie moment than when Adrian tells Rocky that she wants him to win.  Right there, that is when Stallone the director decides to go back to fighting left handed.  

I could watch that scene a thousand times and it will never fail to send a chill down my spine.  It will actually make me start to tear up.  And believe me, I have seen this movie more times than I would like to count.

In my opinion Adrian telling Rocky to win is by far the best moment of any of the Rocky movies.  By far.  I don't think anything in the original movie comes close.  I don't think anything in Rocky 3 even comes close.  That clip where Adrian tells him to win sets the stage for the entire rest of the movie, and it sets the stage for what I consider maybe the best final 30 minutes of a movie that I have ever seen.  The minute Adrian tells him to win and that Bill Conti music starts up, well sit down and fasten your seatbelt.  Because this is where Rocky 2 turns into something very special.

Cue that training montage

For about 20 years I have had a list of special movies in my head.  This is the list of what I like to call my "Time Machine Movies."  These are movies that if I ever invent a time machine, or if I ever get access to a time machine, I want to go back in time and see them in a theater the week that they came out.  Because there are some movies that are so effective and so powerful, that it kills me that I am too young to have ever seen them in a theater.

Jaws is one of my all time big Time Machine Movies.  I would kill to be able to go back to 1975 and see Jaws in a packed movie theater.  I bet that movie in a theater was as effective as hell.

Halloween is another one of my big Time Machine movies.  I would love to see that in 1978 the week that it came out.  I bet that movie just made people jump out of their seats.

However, out of all the movies I have ever seen in my life, out of all the powerful and effective stories I have seen told on film, the number one Time Machine Movie on my list has always been Rocky 2.  It came out in 1979 when I was five years old and I never got to see it in a theater.  And I would KILL to go back in time and see it in a theater.  I envy anyone who ever saw Rocky 2 in a crowded movie theater and got to watch those last thirty minutes when that audience was going crazy.

If you are one of those lucky people who actually did see Rocky 2 in a movie theater, I have no doubt that you would be as baffled as I am that it is now considered to be the black sheep of the Rocky movies.  Black sheep?  Um, have you ever actually SEEN this movie?  Do you know how powerful that ending is?

In short, if you want to watch a movie that is totally underrated and will send a chill down your spine each and every time to watch it, watch Rocky 2.  It might not have won as many accolades as the original, but in my opinion it sure did deserve them.  It is one of those rare sequels in the world that I feel is very special.  I mean, come on.  This is my #1 all time Time Machine movie.  I would see this in a crowded theater before I would see Jaws.  I don't throw around that kind of praise for just any old movie.

Also, it has Carl Weathers in the best acting performance of his career.  Years before he was a punchline on Arrested Development, he was actually a really good actor in Rocky 2.  And no, at no point in this movie does he ask for a per diem, or for half price on select menu items.  Nor does he ever actually make a stew out of anything.

Knows you can get unlimited refills on any drink at Burger King

Rocky 2.  The rematch.  The legend.  One of the all time greatest movie sequels.

See it, to see maybe the best final 30 minutes of any movie I have ever seen.  Once Adrian comes out of that coma and she has something to tell Rocky, hang on to your seat.  There is a reason that they love to play that clip before the 9th inning at baseball games.  It is maybe the all time greatest sports movie chill moment.

See it, to learn that when you splash on Brute Aftershave it makes you smeel mainly.

See it, to see if the kid in the white pants who is sprinting is ever going to catch up to Rocky.

See it, to learn that you really do take retards to the zoo when you take them on a date.  I don't know that a lot of people remember that from the first movie, but in the original, Gazzo's limo driver at one point tells Rocky that he should take Adrian to the zoo because "retards like the zoo."  It is kind of a forgettable little throwaway line, but if you pay attention in Rocky 2, that is EXACTLY where Rocky takes Adrian when he asks her to marry him.  He proposes to her at the zoo.  I don't know about you, but I always found that funny.  I guess Gazzo's limo driver was right.


In summary, there are two things to always remember when it comes to Rocky 2.  It is NOT a weak movie. And in no way is it the exact same movie as the original.  In fact in many ways I would say it is even better than the original.  There is no way that this movie should ever be called the black sheep of the franchise.

Oh yeah, there is one another thing to remember about Rocky 2, and this is the important one.

If you want to achieve great things in the world, ignore the advice of your wife.

Bitch please, I just won the world title.  What did you do?   Not that.  Peace.

* My favorite IMDB user reviews about Rocky 2:

My favourite Rocky film - 19 May 2005
God I love this film. The best rocky in my opinion and such a great sequel. It starts exactly where the first one ends. Grabs the audience, as a sequel should, by showing again the fight from Rocky I and then developing the characters further. Whether Apollo frustrated by only just winning, Rocky and Adrian as they marry and have a child or Mickey spending that time with Rocky in the chapel. The tenderness between R and A is just wonderful. Unlike some directors they just keep the romance simple and I just love the innocence of their relationship. Him a lowly boxer, she a dour shop girl but they love each other and that's all the need. The training sequences are brilliant, making you wanting to punch the air when they've finished. The fight is great, unrealistic maybe but exciting nonetheless. My favourite scene though is right at the end. Everyone slates it but it always brings a genuine tear to my eye. He's beaten Apollo and achieved his dreams but the only thing important to him is showing this to his wife. The emotion of his 'Yo Adrian, I did it' is just wonderful, like a young boy wanting to show off to his mother. Rocky has been through hell but all he wants is his wife to be proud of him. Mesmerising and touching.

Underrated Film - 17 November 2003
Rocky II continues the story of the beloved character Rocky Balboa in a very real fashion. Here is a nobody who got a shot a the heavy weight title, with it came a little recognition and a little money... Then what? That is where the script becomes very intriguing. Dealing with illiteracy, no job skills and trying to make a living as a meat packer. A bad right eye and a p***ed off champion. Here we are feeling for Rocky once again. A great cast with great performances, a good script. This is the most underrated in the franchise.

Excellent sequel - 8 October 2003
"Rocky II" is one of those sequels that is just as good as the original, if not better in some aspects. I can't say it's better than the original because you can't have the second film without the first one. Meaning that this film does not stand on it's own, you need the first film to understand the characters and back-stories of everything in this film. But all in all, I think "Rocky II" is slightly more enjoyable than the original "Rocky".

In all honesty, I think this film is better directed than the first film. The story seems to flow quite nicely and is slightly faster paced than the original. Not only that, but the main fight in the film is much more exciting and longer.

The acting in "Rocky II" is better as well, or at least I thought so. Sylvester Stallone does a fantastic job with his role of Rocky Balboa and really struts his stuff here. Talia Shire and Burt Young also pull off nice performances. Carl Weathers plays the character of Apollo Creed to a "T". And of course, Burgess Meredith does a fantastic job as Mickey.

This is one of those sequels that truly has the same feel as the original. Granted, it isn't as fresh as the original...but it's a re-match that can't be missed. If you liked the original "Rocky", then you definitely ought to check this one out, I don't think you'll be disappointed. I hope you like the film as much as I do.

The Rocky Balboa journey should have stopped here!!! -  9 February 2007
This movie was fantastic, after the first Rocky movie you feel you want to see more out of Rocky, you want to know all the emotion felt after the first fight between Apollo Creed.....and Rocky II does this. Bill Conti's score is just fantastic, as the training scene before the fight delivers a rush through you with motivational music. Then the fight, which if you are a fan or professional of the boxing world you know the fight is hardly realistic. But who cares it delivers all the drama that is awaited for during the whole movie and the long time Talia Shire is in a coma. The scene where she wakes up and captivates Rocky's mind to win is the best scene of all Rocky movies, as the score of Bill Conti kicks in and Burgess Meredith quotes "Well what are we waiting for?".....which is when Rocky begins to train, Geat Movie Moment!!!!.....

I would have to say also that Burgees Meredith was a catalyst for the success of the first two movies, he played his role to perfection and i thought that without him no other Rocky movies should have been made.

Which leads me to another topic of "this should of been the last Rocky!"......it should of ended here and the story of Rocky Balboa would have been known as a great two movie classic. But no, it went on and i feel the rest of the Rocky movies ruined the brilliance of the first two. whilst being interesting to watch and at times motivational they just didn't have the edge and they turned the Rocky series from cinema classics to over the top Hollywood action.

As for Rocky IV, i just saw it and i was appalled, the story has just gone too far and the reality of Rocky has just gone way out the window.

But for Rocky II......what a movie!

One of the best sequels ever made. I'm not joking. - 10 August 2004
I have to hand it to Sylvester Stallone – he did the impossible with 'Rocky II' and made a successful follow-up to 'Rocky,' winner of the 1976 Best Picture Academy Award.

Some argue that 'Taxi Driver' (also nominated) deserved the Oscar more. I'm not so sure. 'Rocky' came along at just the right time – it was an uplifting story and people needed that back then. Now, 'Taxi Driver' is usually considered the superior of the two – but they're entirely different and, in my opinion (and it's a rare one), 'Rocky' is just as good – but in a different way. They're both great films, and I'm not saying that 'Taxi Driver' shouldn't have won – but I'm not necessarily saying it should have, either. 'Rocky's' achievement is monumental and it is one of the greatest films ever made. To say it's 'not as good' merely because it is more optimistic is nonsense.

So what's so great about 'Rocky II' and why is it generally underrated? (Its average user score right now on the Internet Movie Database -- with over 8,000 votes -- is a measly 6.2/10, compared to the original's 7.7)

Because it maintains the focus of the first film, and continues the story rather well. A story that didn't really need to be continued, per se, but nevertheless formed the foundation of one of the greatest film franchises of all time. That's right – many people hate the 'Rocky' sequels, but apart from 'Part V,' they're all surprisingly entertaining – and, more importantly, well made. I like them; they entertain me, and I think they all serve their purpose.

What's particularly interesting about 'Rocky II' is that apart from repeating the central theme of fighting Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), Rocky (Stallone) goes through a character arc here that many sequels totally ignore – we see the after-effects of his fight, and him struggling to adapt to the 'New Life.'

Rocky is not a smart person. But he is one of cinema's deepest characters. Stallone (who wrote all the scripts and directed three of the sequels) succeeds at evolving Rocky's self-confidence. After winning a small fortune from his famous fight with Creed, he goes out on an impulsive shopping spree, buying a cool car, a new leather jacket (with a tiger – the beast with the 'eye' that Rocky re-captures in 'Part III' – printed on the back), and a new luxurious apartment for him and his wife Adrienne (Talia Shire).

The problem is that Rocky soon runs out of money. His happy-go-lucky personality crashes when he is faced with the prospect of losing it all. He promised Adrienne never to fight again, and keeps his word by trying to get a 'real' job at the meat-processing factory (the same one he trained at in the original film). However due to staff cut backs he is fired and soon realizes that he was born for one reason: To fight.

Meanwhile, Apollo is eager to take on 'The Italian Stallion' again – to prove he isn't the coward that criticizers are implying he is. He entices Rocky back into the ring for a final match – and to say that the outcome is satisfactory is an understatement.

Most people seem to forget that Stallone is almost solely responsible for the entire success of 'Rocky' as a whole. He came up with the idea, wrote a script, fought to get it made, fought to become the leading star, and literally fought to get in shape. All of this fighting paid off – and it continued to pay off as he kept on cranking out all the sequels.

Indeed, the 'Rocky' legacy is often poked fun at because it is the typical endless Hollywood moneymaking franchise. But 'Rocky II' and 'III' (more so than the other two sequels) have guts, power, determination and focus – they've got the so-called 'Eye of the Tiger' and I can't really say that I agree with anyone who says these movies are worthless. They aren't masterpieces but they certainly aren't trash, either. I give 'Rocky II' a hearty recommendation – it's a truly solid sequel that surprises us right when we expect to be disappointed.

Another Knockout - 5 September 2006
You've got to agree with Leonard Maltin when he calls this film more of a remake than a sequel. But that doesn't mean ROCKY II fails to make for some fantastic, crowd-pleasing entertainment! Sly is back as The Italian Stallone, having just taken the beating of his life from barely-victorious Heavyweight champ Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). For medical reasons (and for new wife Adrian), our lovable lunkhead attempts a life that doesn't involve black eyes and punching bags, but it's tough out d'ere. Meanwhile, Creed is throwing a hissy fit because he took such a walloping from an unknown Philly product. If you don't know where this is going, there's a good chance you too have recently been in the ring with Creed!

No one has ever argued that ROCKY II is as good as the original, but it's not exactly thousands of miles behind, either. Picking up in the immediate aftermath of the original, the viewer is immediately sucked right back into Rock's world. We already know him so well. Whereas in the original he was all about boxing, here Rocky is forced to start a new life, making for an interesting fish-out-of-water scenario. We all know he's going back to the ring, but writer-director Stallone keeps us guessing as to how.

The single biggest strength of the film is the amazing finale, which actually outdoes the big fight from the original. The audience can't help but make pained faces as Rocky takes one of the most brutal beatings ever filmed. Punch after powerful punch, it often seems completely hopeless for him. It's also worth noting that Stallone, and indeed the entire case, is as likable as ever.

On the flip side, the biggest weaknesses are the sporadic slow-moving moments. In particular, Adrian's birth-induced coma is just a tad contrived and out of place. This traumatic event was presumably included to give Rocky (and the audience) a stronger thirst for victory. Truth be told, Stallone didn't have to go that far; the birth of Rocky, Jr. was more than enough dramatic inspiration. I'm willing to bet if Sly had it to do over again, he'd scratch the coma.

This is one of those rare films that is so good you forget about or forgive its minimal flaws. Often degraded as the black sheep of the series, ROCKY II is surprisingly effective with Stallone the actor, writer and director in great form. Highly recommended for all filmgoers.

Rocky Goes Hollywood, But Doesn't Sell Out - 7 January 2013
When F.I.S.T and Paradise Alley (a spiritual sequel of sorts to Rocky) didn't light up the box office, it was back to Rocky. This film has much more of a Hollywood feel (Sly's got a tan, training by Franco Columbo, every one has a stylish hair cut) than the original (the 1st had a budget of about $1 million, this was $7), but is still character driven, well written, down to Earth and has an indie feel to it.

While Paulie and Adrian (especially the former) take a back seat this time Mickey and Apollo are much more characterized than in the first film. The love story between Rocky and Adrian is not as precious as in the 1st film, but is still important as we find out that Rocky can't fight without the support of those he loves, especially Adrian. It's sweet to see that Rocky himself doesn't even understand this, but Paulie does and (in one of the few character moments he has in this movie) is the catalyst (indirectly) for Adrian's coma.

We see Rocky screwing up throughout most of the picture because he just can't figure out what to do with himself and then Apollo, still goaded from his loss ("Man I won, but I didn't beat him!" he exclaims to his trainer Duke), starts a campaign to taunt Rocky back in the ring. Mick meanwhile agrees to train Rocky again, but is indignant by Rocky's lackluster performance in the gym. It is only when he visits the Rock at the hospital chapel does he realize why Rocky can't give his all and offers a persuasive speech that is one of the best moments in the series.

Possibly the best sequel, though Rocky Balboa gives it a run for its money, but this one was made back in the day and has the complete original cast. One of the best sequels I have even seen in any medium.

Entertaining with a great finale - 9 October 2005
While this is by no means as effective a movie as the first one, this is however a worthy sequel and entertaining as hell.

You all know the story; Rocky, a media sensation after the fight with Appollo Creed agrees to fight the champion one more time. In the meantime he gets married, spends all his money, has a baby, gets on with training and competes in the coolest boxing match ever filmed (f*** Cinderella Man).

This is basically a repeat of the first film. Rocky's down, gets up, goes back down, gets up and gets the job done with style. Stallone, director here as well as the writer, does a good job in every department, making Rocky II an entertaining (if a bit overlong) sequel that's sure to delight everyone who liked the first film. The film feels like treaded ground, but isn't that what we want? That final fight is awesome even to this day, Stallone spent 8 months alone editing it. It paid off.

My favorite trivia about Rocky 2:

* When Rocky is training for the fight, he is sparring with a smaller quicker fighter. The sparring partner is played by real life Champion Roberto Durán.

* During his preparation for the film, Sylvester Stallone was bench-pressing 220lbs, when the weight fell and he tore his right pectoral muscle. This was shortly before the fight scene was to be filmed, and ultimately, the scene was shot with Stallone still badly injured.

* In one version of the screenplay, there is a flashback scene that shows Rocky first meeting Mickey and we learn Rocky's real first name: Robert.

* Sylvester Stallone began working on the Rocky III script immediately after completing Rocky II, with the intention of the series being a trilogy. Originally, he had no plans to make a fourth film.

* 800 local schoolchildren were used as extras for the scene depicting Rocky's run through Philadelphia.

* Originally, Adrian was supposed to be at the big fight. However, because Talia Shire was working on another movie at the time, the storyline was changed to having her stay home and watch the fight on TV. The scenes of her watching the boxing match on TV were shot and then edited into the movie several months after filming on the fight scenes had finished.

* It took Sylvester Stallone and editors Danford B. Greene and Stanford C. Allen over eight months to edit the climatic fight scene so as to meet Stallone's approval. 

* My favorite scene in Rocky 2:



"Well what're we waitin' for?!?"

Rocky 2 at the IMDB

Rocky 2 at Wikipedia

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