Rocky II Reviews
Things I Liked:
Sylvester Stallone. Once again I really find myself impressed with Stallone. The emotional moments he has in the film hit almost as hard as some of his punches. He has massive high moments that lift you up with him, and bitter low moments, that really emotionally grip you. Stallone carries the movie as Rocky and you really get a feel for his story and the changes he has happen since the first one.
Carl Weathers. What I like about this one is we get more info into Apollo Creed's life and what he deals with as a well known professional boxer. We see him more as a person in this movie as he deals with the backlash from the first film's outcome, and less as a pretty face to represent the world outside of Rocky's or as a simple loudmouth meathead who is pulling off a publicity stunt, as he was in the first movie. Weathers brings a performance that really cements himself in this series.
Things I Didn't Like:
The Second Half. The second half of the movie almost felt like a total rehash of the first one. There were similar moments in the fight, similar training montage, similar problems with his home life, similar emotional moments. The first half takes Rocky to a new place and the second returns him to the first movie, which we have already seen and don't need to retread.
Adrian's Character. Adrian takes a new position in her relationships with all the people around her and it seems like a diversion from her character in the first film. She is assertive, she is confident, she is completely devoid of the shy and unassuming girl we met in the first Rocky. It's not a bad performance from Talia Shire, but just that the character doesn't seem to fit the choices made in the first Rocky movie, it seems like a new character.
Overall, the movie is a solid follow up to the first Rocky, but doesn't reach it's level of success. While there are still great performances and these are particularly true of Stallone and Weathers, there are moments and choices that seem to either repeat the first film or abandon it all together. The last half of the movie is a slightly altered version of the first movie's most iconic moments, and the character of Adrian seems to totally change her personality in a way that seems less like character growth and more like a whole new character. Rocky II is essentially an inferior version of the first Rocky. If the first one didn't exist this would be a great film, but as a follow up it just doesn't meet the high standard set by the first one.
After the first Rocky movie we saw a highly paid man that was ready to retire from the sport. He marries Adrian, and she becomes pregnant. They go through their money quickly while Rocky struggles to find a job. Meanwhile, Apollo will stop at nothing to get a rematch with Rocky despite saying in the ring he wanted no part of one. Will Rocky give into financial temptation and fight Apollo again?
"Some say that's from the high school he never graduated from."
Sylvester Stallone, director of Paradise Alley, Rocky III & IV, Staying Alive, Rambo, and Rocky Balboa, delivers Rocky 2. The storyline for this picture picks up nicely from the first film and is told in a compelling and dramatic nature. There is a nice mix of comedy and drama in this picture. The acting in this is excellent and the cast includes Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith, and Tony Burton.
"What cants? There's no cants."
All of these films were added to Netflix some time ago so I added them to my wish list. I was a HUGE fan of these films growing up and I still love them now. The endings are always marvelous in these films as are the montages. Overall, this is an all time classic that isn't as great as the first film.
"I wish I was a K9 sometimes."
Though a lot of "Rocky II" is not quite as gripping as the first film, the last half hour completely makes up for it. Sylvester Stallone is as charming as ever, while Burgess Meredith plays a bigger role as Rocky's coach and is hilarious. The training montage is even better and more uplifting than the one in the previous film. Finally, Apollo and Rocky's rematch is even more brutal and intense than their first fight. It's a great fight and easily the highlight of the film!
"Rocky II" may have its faults, but like its predecessor, it is inspiring and uplifting, and I can't wait to see what "Rocky III" has in store for the new champ!
Although it takes a small step down from its predecessor, Rocky II still entertains viewers with the same excellent cast performances and enjoyable boxing matches between characters.