Rocky 2 (1979)
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers,Burgess Meredith, Tony Burton & Joe Spinell
Synopsis: Although working-class Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) lost his high-profile bout with the cocky world champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), his Cinderella story has caught the national sports media’s attention, and he now has the opportunity to capitalize on his sudden fame. Meanwhile, Creed is still smarting from nearly losing to someone no one has ever heard of, and arrogantly prods his newfound nemesis into getting back into the ring.
Review: Rocky 2 picks up directly where the first one left off, Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa are battered and bruised being taken to hospital. When they are at the hospital Apollo is seething from the way the fight went and demands Rocky fight him again as he believes Rocky got lucky as no-one has gone the distance with Creed before. Rocky says he has retired and leaves to get treated. Once they have both recovered Rocky enjoys life while Apollo just wants a rematch due to heavy amounts of hate mail from people and believing Rocky was just lucky and he could drop him in a couple of rounds.
This movie still has the same tone of the first film with the majority of the film being based around Rocky and his now pregnant wife Adrian. Once the money from the fight has gone Rocky needs to find ways to support his family which involve television commercials which he struggles at as we learn Rocky can’t read. Adrian helps him with his reading but to make ends meet Rocky takes up a job in a meat factory.
This makes us still love and root for Rocky as he is the everyday man that we all seemingly are and every intention he has is good and for his family. Obviously we know Rocky doesn’t just work in the meat factory and live happily ever after. Cut backs force the manager of the factory to let Rocky go. He realises the only way to get money and provide for his family is take on Apollo again. The movie still has the training montage and the theme ‘Gonna Fly Now’. The training scenes make you want to get on your sweats and start running and lifting weights. Sly has put on a great deal of muscle from the first film, he is not the sculpted Greek god we all know today but he is pretty beefed up. The acting as well is on top form, I always found the supporting cast and Sly bought there best game to these movies. Once again the final fight is well choreographed and you can see a few of the hits actually connecting which adds that extra touch of realism and shows the dedication of Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers.
Overall I would say its a great sequel and I never tire of seeing Sly jump back into the role of Rocky Balboa. I would say this is a movie worth checking out for the acting and story alone as to me it is standout.