Rocky II (1979)

DVD Cover (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Reissue)
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Overall Rating 70%
Overall Rating
Ranked #778
...out of 15,250 movies
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Connections: Rocky

Rocky Balboa is enjoying life. He has a lovely wife, Adrian, had a successful fight with Apollo Creed and is able to enjoy the money he earned from the fight and a new endorsement deal. Unfortunately, Rocky becomes embarrassed when failing to complete an advert and ends up working in a meat packing company. He believes that he will no longer have a career as a boxer. Apollo wants to rematch with Rocky to prove all his critics wrong that he can beat Rocky. Can Rocky once again have a successful fight? --IMDb
Review by Nirrad
Added: June 01, 2008
Since I tackled the first Rocky a few months back, I figured I might as well continue all the way to Rocky V. The Rocky franchise is probably one of the most influential movies of our time. They have inspired people to get in shape, or even take up the sport of boxing. I've never had a movie that has hit me so hard, but if only I weren't so lazy.

Rocky II picks up right after the events of the first Rocky. We are treated to the fight once more time to refresh our memory. After the fight both Rocky and Apollo (Carl Weathers) are rushed to the hospital to cure their wounds. When they arrive, Apollo immediately confronts Rocky to complain about the match. He thinks that Rocky was just lucky and that he wants a rematch. Rocky doesn't want to have anything to do with him as he already had the fight of the century, and plans to retire. Apollo seems to get the hint, and eventually backs off, but he still has that itch that he currently cannot scratch. Days later they are both finally released from the hospital, and Rocky is immediately offered deals to do commercials and endorse toys. But before Rocky settles down, he figures he needs to go on a shopping spree to spend the 37 grand that he just earned. Unfortunately for him, he blows through the money rather quickly. His deal to do commercials eventually folded due to the fact that he simply cannot act, or read for that matter. After failing to get a decent job, he decides to do hard labour at the meat factory. But he is eventually let go due to funding. Apollo still upset with the fight, keeps getting hate mail claiming that he is "a fake" and "the fight was fixed". Upset with the publics reaction he decides to start another campaign for a fight. At first Rocky is not interested, but after public humiliation Rocky decides to fight him again. Adrian thinks otherwise as she is worried about his right eye eventually going blind. But Rocky begins training anyways, but is distracted because something is on his mind.

Meanwhile Adrian (Talia Shire) is currently pregnant and is the only one who can support both her and Rocky. So she goes back to her job at the Pet Store. But because of her working so much, she is forced to have a premature baby, and during the birth she drifts into a coma. She eventually wakes up and has a change of heart. She tells Rocky to "Win!" We are then treated to another great training montage. Finally the big day arrives and we finally get to witness the rematch of the century.

Rocky II succeeds in everything it does. Being a sequel, the movie is just simply amazing as sequels are usually terrible, but not this time. I find Rocky II much more emotional than the first one. The first one is basically just about Rocky trying to progress in the sport of boxing and just living day by day normally, while part II is more about life problems. He is having troubles financially, we find out that he can barely read and his wife slips into a coma. When can the guy catch a break?

This time it's Stallone who directs, and he does a fine job at it. I'm sure he learned a thing or two when working with John G. Avildsen on the first movie. Performances are as great as always, and we get to see the characters evolve even further. My personal favourite in this movie is Burgess Meredith as Mickey, he is just simply magnificent. Whenever he is on scene, my eyes light up. I just love the way he pushes Rocky to the limit. This one also features more comedy than the others, but not going too far to consider it corny. The commercial scene is one of my personal favourites, some of the words he mispronounces are just hilarious. My only problem with this movie is the fight at the end. While still extremely enjoyable, it's pretty unrealistic. It is quite evident that some of the punches don't even make contact in the first half. At first I thought that was suppose to happen, and that they were legitimate misses. But they clearly had the impact sound. The end of the fight has some controversy behind it as well. I don't want to give it away (you should already know anyways) but the outcome would have been different due to the use of a rope during a count.

This movie is a lot like the first one. It doesn't have as much character development, but it doesn't need to. We already know who these people are, so it just expands them a little bit. I like to look at the first two Rockys as one big movie. I would say the same with all the first five included, but the next 3 just don't have the same feeling as the first 2. But lets not mention those movies until another time.

Chad #1: Chad - added 06/01/2008, 07:05 PM
Please do finish the series - I've had parts I-IV+Rocky Balboa on my desk for months now, and I'd love to breeze through them without having to review them.
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added 06/03/2008, 03:45 PM
There's something to appreciate in each "Rocky" film, though it's more difficult to find them between this one and "Rocky Balboa". I consider this film to be just slightly inferior to the original and only slightly better than "Rocky Balboa", but leaps and bound above the others. 9/10.
Crispy #3: Crispy - added 06/03/2008, 03:48 PM
I pity the fool who don't like Rocky III
Nirrad #4: Nirrad - added 06/03/2008, 04:09 PM
IMO Rocky III is the worst one. That may change when I watch it again though.
bluemeanie #5: bluemeanie - added 06/03/2008, 04:11 PM
For me, "Rocky IV" was the worst one. They killed Apollo, for the love of God! And it was just too hokey to work for me. "Rocky III" had Mr. T, and that counts for a lot with me. "What do you predict for the outcome of this fight?" "Pain."
Nirrad #6: Nirrad - added 06/03/2008, 04:14 PM
Yeah that quote is pretty sweet. I also like how Rocky taunts Clubber Lang by saying "It's not so bad, it's not so bad" while taking punches in the face. While utterly unrealistic, I really enjoyed the fight in IV. I don't know why, but it just pumps me up. Same with the street fight in V.
Crispy #7: Crispy - added 06/03/2008, 04:18 PM
"C'mon! My grandmother hits harder than you!" I know I'm in the minority here, but I liked V. Most people hated it because it left him where he started at the beginning of the series, but I saw it as even though he was back in the streets, he still had his friends and family beside him. *shrugs* Maybe we should wait for that review before having that discussion.
Chad #8: Chad - added 06/07/2008, 01:50 AM
I thought that this one was just as good as if not better than the original. The only thing that bugged me was the scene where Rocky was running down the street with a horde of kids running behind him.... my word, that was pure cheese (and not in a good way).

Anywho, yeah, get cracking on reviewing part III so I can continue the series.
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