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lionheart91
10-01-2009, 04:03 PM
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Rocky II is the sequel to the hugely successful 1976 movie, Rocky. Released in 1979, the film starred and was written by Sylvester Stallone who, unlike the first movie, also directed. Upon release it was given many positive reviews and went on to be considered a financial success, making over $200 million worldwide.

Story - The movie starts off by recapping the fight at the end of the first movie. Afterwards, both fighters are taken to the hospital after sustaining serious injuries during the fight. While in the lobby, Rocky is confronted by an equally injured Apollo and both fighters are once again swarmed by reporters. Apollo is angry with Rocky, who was the first person to ever "go the distance" with Apollo. He changes his mind about what he initially said to Rocky after the fight, and demands a rematch to prove that the first fight was nothing more than luck on Rocky's part. Rocky wants no part of it, and tells Apollo that he is done with boxing. While in the hospital Rocky finds out that he needs surgery for a detatched retina, strengthening his desire to quit boxing. After his release from the hospital, Rocky proposes to Adrian at the Philadelphia Zoo, and they move into a new house. Rocky decides that to earn money, he will be in commercials. He is unable to read his lines correctly, and is fired from the commercial. He applies for an office job, but is denied due to his lack of an education. He gets a job in the meat packing plant where Paulie used to work, but is soon laid off. Since he has nothing else going on, he starts to think about boxing again, but Adrian tries to convince him to stay away and avoid further injury. One night, Rocky goes to Mickey's apartment and tells him that he wants to fight again. Mickey also tells Rocky to stay away unless he wants to go blind. Rocky tells Mickey that he needs to be around boxing, so Mickey lets him help out at the gym. While Rocky is there, Mickey sees how Rocky is disrespected by the other fighters at the gym and begins to change his mind about training Rocky for another fight. Adrian finds out she is pregnant, and goes back to her old job at the pet store across the street from the gym. At the same time, Apollo is shown receiving mail from people saying that he didn't deserve to win the fight and that Apollo is the one that got lucky. Apollo then decides he is going to do everything he can to pressure Rocky into a rematch to earn back his respect despite protests by his trainer, who has his doubts about Apollo's chances in a rematch. Apollo goes through with it anyway, and starts by insulting Rocky in the newpapers, calling him a chicken and that the fight was a fluke. Rocky accepts the challenge, and the fight is set to take place on Thanksgiving Day 1976. Mickey gives in and decides to train Rocky to fight right handed instead of his usual southpaw style in order to protect his eye. Adrian is still firmly against the fight, and it takes a toll on his training. Paulie confronts Adrian in the pet store, and after much arguing, Adrian's water breaks early and she is rushed to the hospital. At the hospital, Rocky finds out that Adrian has fallen into a coma, and decides to stop his training to spend all his time by her side. When Adrian comes out of her coma, she simply tells Rocky to "win". After this, Rocky begins his real training with Mickey, and as a result his speed and power improve dramatically. Once again, Rocky runs through Philadelphia to "Gonna Fly Now", except this time he is joined by hundreds of fans. He runs up the steps and is mobbed by his fans who are all chanting his name. The fight begins and this time Apollo is a lot more serious then he was in the first fight. The two men fight another intense battle that comes down to the final round. Apollo's trainer, Duke, tells Apollo that he has the lead on the scorecards and urges his to just stay away from Rocky so nothing happens. Apollo, intent on knocking out Rocky, doesn't listen to Duke, and after a while Rocky sees an opening and starts pounding away at Apollo. Rocky manages to knock Apollo down, but the force behind his punch takes him to the ground as well. Both men struggle to get up, and at the last second, Apollo falls back down while Rocky is able to get up. Rocky is again swarmed by reporters while he is crowned the new Heavyweight Champion by knockout. Rocky makes a speech to the everyone in the crowd and everyone watching on TV, ending it with "Yo Adrian, I did it!", while Adrian, overcome with joy, looks on.

Cast - Rocky II reunites the main cast from the first movie, starting with Sylvester Stallone once again playing Rocky. This time around, Rocky has decided to retire and moves into a house with his new wife Adrian. He struggles to find a job, and decides that he wants to box again. Despite pleas by Adrian to stay away from boxing, Rocky eventually accepts Apollo's challenge for a rematch,a nd goes back to training with Mickey. Once again, Rocky goes the distance with Apollo, but this time, he wins and becomes the new champion. Talia Shire is back as Adrian, who has married Rocky and moved out of Paulie's apartment. Due to Rocky's struggles at finding a new job after retiring, she goes back to her old job at the pet store, all the while being pregnant with her and Rocky's first child. She begs Rocky not to go back to boxing as she doesn't want to see him get hurt anymore, but he goes back anyway. She ends up getting into an arguement with Paulie which causes her to give birth prematurely and go into a coma. After she wakes up from the coma, she is fully behind Rocky and urges him to "win". Carl Weathers again plays Apollo, the Heavyweight Champion. Feeling disrespected by everybody and not sure about whether he really won the fight with Rocky, he goes back on his words of "Ain't gonna be no rematch" and tries to pressure Rocky into another fight. He goes all out in his attempts to lure Rocky back for the fight, and after a while it gets to Rocky and he agrees to the fight. This time, Apollo could care less about putting on a good show, and is more intent on embarrassing Rocky. Burt Young plays Paulie again, now Rocky's brother-in-law. Paulie has been fired from his job at the meat packing plant, and Rocky gets him a job collecting money for his (Rocky's) old boss. Paulie sees how Adrian is ruining Rocky by trying to get him to stay away from doing what makes him happy, and yells at her for doing so. Once again, Paulie is behind Rocky all the way, and believes in him to the very end. Burgess Meredith plays Mickey, who also tells Rocky to stay away from boxing. After seeing how Rocky is mistreated by the other fighters at his gym, Mickey realizes that Rocky has to fight again. When Rocky agrees to the fight, Mickey is right there to train him, and helps him get through the tough times he was facing when Adrian was in the coma. Tony Burton reprises his role as Apollo's trainer, Tony "Duke" Evers. This time around, he doesn't think Apollo has a good chance in a rematch against Rocky and tries to convince him to fight somebody else. After Apollo gets Rocky to agree to the rematch, Duke trains Apollo harder than Apollo has ever been trained before, and as a result, Apollo is in the best condition he has ever been in by the time the second fight rolls around.


Soundtrack - Once again, the soundtrack is composed by Bill Conti. It features "Gonna Fly Now" as the theme song for the second time, and the song is used in another memorable training scene where Rocky runs through Philadelphia and up the steps. Rocky II would be the last time "Gonna Fly Now" would be used as the theme song until Rocky Balboa 27 years later. This soundtrack, like the one for the first movie, was well received and is considered a great soundtrack.

My Rating - 10/10

Overall, Rocky II is my favorite Rocky movie, and my favorite movie of all time. It would be the last "true" Rocky movie until Rocky V, since the series starts to head in a different direction for the next two films. Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I'll be back tomorrow with a review for the next movie in the series, Rocky III.

nmufred
10-01-2009, 11:16 PM
I loved both of your reviews thus far, but one critique. You are double covering some plot in both the story section and the cast section, I feel like I read much of the plot by the time I get to the cast section.

lionheart91
10-02-2009, 12:37 PM
Yeah I guess I should put less information in the story section or cast section so I don't make it seem like i'm just repeating myself. The thing is, most of what I put in the story section is important to the story, and it's hard to describe the cast without mentioning plot points.

Well thanks for the critique, and i'll try to improve on this for my next review.

Sonic62
10-04-2009, 12:55 PM
Great review! It's funny you're reviewing these now, because I've been watching these movies lately. :D It's hard to rank them, but I think this one is near the top of my list.

diddyknux
10-06-2009, 01:22 PM
Fantastic review. Like I said before, either this or Rocky IV is my favorite.