Rocky II (1979)

Rocky II (1979)
  • Time: 119 min
  • Genre: Action | Drama | Sport
  • Director: Sylvester Stallone
  • Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers, Burt Young


Rocky Balboa is a little-known boxer who was given a shot at the heavyweight champ, Apollo Creed. Having done much better than anyone expected, Creed demands a rematch, embarrassed by his inability to dominate the “amateur” Balboa.

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  • The world is not always the nicest of place to be, even when things are going your way. This is one of the most important life lessons to be learned from this movie. Rocky (1976) was about an everyday guy that was thrown into the spotlight from individuals from higher places and proved to others that he was something. However, even with all the hype, as time went on, the “Italian Stallion” didn’t get very far. It’s the sad truth. The public is a tough crowd to please. Once out of the direct visual pathway that is the person’s eyes, the memory immediately begins to fade. The old saying stays true no matter what – “Out of sight, out of mind”. This is what Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) must overcome again in this installment and it fits in perfectly.

    After being ignored two films after his debut in Rocky (1976), Stallone incorporated this real-life experience into the screenplay of this entry. Here Stallone brings his fans back to Philadelphia to continue the story of Mr. Balboa. After displaying to the world his ability to box, Rocky decides to hang up the gloves and move on. He marries his love Adrian and begins creating their own life together. Sadly with this comes a cost. Rocky can’t find anything lucrative enough to help support Adrian and himself. This aspect of Stallone’s writing is reflective to what he went through after his debut and it hits home with force. It’s very frustrating to try and start over again and expect to have a different outcome from the previous one. In a way, all this does is remind Rocky of what he’s good at – fighting. It’s a development that Rocky goes through that makes it all the worth while.

    Another part of Rocky’s development lies in him becoming a little more civilized. People complain he can’t read, so he decides to read more often. It’s a nice little addition to show that although Rocky is different, he’s listening for suggestions to help make himself a better person. As Stallone’s second film as director, it shows that he took careful time to make sure that the arc Rocky goes through is eye opening. The supporting cast from the original return as well. The only problem here is that some characters have motivational changes for certain opinions without a clear reason. There are conclusions that can be drawn to why, but it would be better to have a clear reason. Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) returns for a rematch and is this guy ripped. Weathers really outdid himself this time.

    Talia Shire continues to make Adrian a great supporter of Rocky. Nobody could ask for a better girl. Burt Young as Paulie also supports a little more than the last time. Lastly Burgess Meredith as Micky still is able to stick it to Rocky when he needs it most. He was a key player to begin with so its important that he hung around. The cinematography by Jaws (1975) cameraman Bill Butler, recaptures all the money shots from the first film which is also good. When it came to the fight sequences, the editing was quick to the point and kept things moving. It also made the film that much more entertaining. Finally, Bill Conti’s second score to the movie was just emotional as the last. There were tracks that were repeated but at least the tracks weren’t edited or mixed with others. I think Conti even made a few new tracks as well, which is always good. A worthy follow-up.

    Aside from having some unclear motivational changes, the continuation of the life of Rocky successfully continues to push the character to different heights. This and the strong direction, entertaining match sequences emotional music and likable supporting cast makes it all more enticing to see.

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