Rocky II Reviews
Another wonderful film, and I think the fight scenes are better in this one then the original. With Rocky Jr. (Robert) being born, Adrian in a coma, Rocky has a lot on his mind, but with the strength from his Wife, and his determination, Rocky stuns the world once again.
This sets an obvious problem for sequels, and Rocky II found out a messy formula to circumvent it. The next four Rocky movies can vary on the theme, but they all revolve around the use of "Diabolus ex Machina," or unlikely plot developments that serve to tear down the story and characters from the high of the previous film so they can be beat up a bit. After that they can be build right back up again for a final training montage and fist fight in time to end the film.
One of the strengths of the original Rocky film comes, surprisingly, from the low budget and rushed nature of the production, which very often forced the producers when confronted by a problem to find a solution that served the narrative, rather than throwing money at it. That's where bursts of genius like the empty ice skating rink scene come from, and what the 7 million dollar budget of Rocky II rendered obsolete.
After all that, however, it concludes in a brilliantly choreographed and photographed final battle that redeems the wi
And rightly so, Rocky II is better than Rocky I. There's conflict. There's struggle. There's adversity. And everything that happens--every plot point--is well-deserved this time.
However, Rocky II isn't a perfect movie by any means. Much of the first act is disjointed, but sets up everything that follows well. Picking up right where we leave off in the first film, Rocky is fresh off his fight with Apollo Creed. And although Apollo technically won by decision, the champ is facing scrutiny from the public saying the fight was rigged or that he shouldn't have won.
Rocky, on the other hand, has moved on. Or at least it seems that way. He and Adrian get married and start their lives together. But Creed is taunting Rocky to get back into the ring again for a rematch.
Not that Rocky wasn't already an affable character, but here, we learn more about him, which makes him even more likable.
In this one, the themes are also much more interesting. Much of this film is about Rocky becoming famous and recognizable--automatically bringing more meaning to the first film--but then also shows how easily the public forgets about him and what he accomplished.
One of the great scenes is when he tries to read the lines for a commercial he's doing, but can't get any of them correct. Stallone just plays dumb so well.
Unlike the first, Rocky actually has his back up against the wall. He's being laughed at by his peers, and his relationship with Adrian actually has some issues. It's nowhere near as easy this time around for Rocky. And by now, we know the characters well enough to appreciate it all. After watching this one, I finally got goosebumps--along with a few tears.
Twizard Rating: 92
Successful (if slightly silly) sequel continues with Stallone struggling with his family and challenged for a rematch against Apollo. Basically a rehash of the first movie, but done with real charm and panache.