Rocky 2 (DVD)

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Rocky 2 (DVD)

The Italian Stallion returns for a rematch with Apollo Creed, hoping, finally, to capture the heavyweight title. This time, even his girlfriend, Adria...

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Review of "Rocky 2 (DVD)"

published 27/03/2011 | mattydalton
Member since : 23/01/2004
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Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears
Excellent
Pro Stallone at his best
Cons None
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"Rocky Is Back!"

The second instalment of the series of Rocky films leaves off exactly where the first one ends, i.e. directly after the fight with Apollo Creed. It’s quickly established that Rocky, seemingly under the advice of Adrian and the doctors, has decided that he must put his boxing career behind him, else risk both his sight and his life.

Apollo Creed, however, has different ideas. He is tormented by the realisation that, despite obtaining the win on points, he didn’t beat Balboa outright. He’s not the type of fighter who is used to going the distance and he is unable to come to terms with the fact that a supposed bum managed to not only take him the distance, but also come frighteningly close to taking his title away from him.

So, we have two main characters that have two very different aims, but it is always clear how this one is going to end up. A boxing-oriented film would not be much good if there weren’t any boxing in it, so I can rest easy in the knowledge that telling you they will get the fight on will not spoil the experience in any way for you.

Clearly, though, there is a lot of story to be told before this eventuality can become a reality. Apollo decides, against vociferous advice from all in his camp, to try and embarrass Rocky in the public arena, thus forcing his hand into wanting to fight again. Our hero, however, is resolute in his desire to forge a life outside of the boxing world.

I found the way that the film approached the subject of a man retiring from a sport, especially one as encapsulating as boxing, to be really well executed. We are treated to a real insight as to what is to be expected for somebody coming out of the sport. It’s no secret that boxers aren’t all geniuses, so it will come as no surprise to you to learn that Rocky really struggles to get any kind of respectable and steady life going.

You really feel for him at times and, given the current economic plight we find ourselves in, can really relate to the time when he is laid off, despite being a very hard worker. All he wants to do, like many of us, is be a man and provide for his family. As things conspire against him and his opportunities diminish, it is clear that Rocky is going into a dark place. Adrian’s return to work, despite becoming pregnant, is the final straw for Rocky. It’s time to get back his manhood, and there was only ever going to be one way of doing that!

I was impressed with the way that the sudden rise to stardom was reflected in Rocky II. All too often people assume that life will be wonderful as soon as you have a bit of money or success in your life. What awaited Rocky following his fight with Apollo Creed was a stark realisation that life is what you make it. Money and cars, ultimately, mean nothing and we quickly find that these things are the first to be discounted.

Rocky is a big-time Charlie following on from his fight and his behaviour alters dramatically. The soft and sensitive soul quickly turns into a bit of a cocky Jack the lad. He no longer takes anything seriously and throws his money away with a total disdain for its worth. The relationship that had built up between himself and Adrian seems to become a little fraught too. There were occasions when I thought either the script was a little lazy or maybe it was a very honest and frank depiction of Rocky “believing the hype”.

At one point, he asks Adrian if she likes animals whilst looking at a tiger print jacket in a clothes shop. It was established very early on in the first movie that she worked in a pet shop and Rocky spent a lot of time here with her. For Rocky to not know that she likes animals is either an oversight or a very clever way of demonstrating Rocky’s distancing of himself from reality.

Still, as the saying goes, what goes up must come down; and it’s not long before our hero is brought crashing down to earth. Having spunked most of the $150,000 he received for fighting Apollo Creed on things that he doesn’t need, the money quickly runs tight. All of a sudden, he is back where he started and the only way that he knows is fighting.

Stallone followed up the first instalment of Rocky with what was, without doubt, my favourite of all of the six that were made. The scope of the story is fairly broad and really makes you think about what life must be like for somebody in his shoes. The scripting is clever and the exploration of how relationships with close friends and loved ones develop is depicted very cleverly.

The soundtrack, once more, is top notch and is a real treat to all Rocky fans. There is something inherently bad about the music you find in Rocky films, but you just can’t help but sing along and tap your feet. A lot of modern filmmakers could learn a lot from the placement of songs throughout Rocky movies.

To think that Rocky II was made over thirty years ago, way back in 1979, is really quite staggering. It is a testament to the strength of the acting, the story, the morals and, of course, the soundtrack that it has stood the test of time so well. The eighties, nineties and noughties have all been very different eras since, but here is something about Rocky that transcends every age. He is a character you can relate to and has the fundamental qualities that all of us aspire to. For those reasons, and so many more, Rocky II is undoubtedly a classic. Five out of five in my book!


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Comments on this review

  • MrBrightside1987 published 28/04/2011
    One of my favourites. Great review :)
  • catsholiday published 30/03/2011
    I'm with RICHADA - not a fan of Sly!
  • RICHADA published 27/03/2011
    Sorry, but even "at his best" I'm no Stallone fan. R.
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Manufacturer's product description

The Italian Stallion returns for a rematch with Apollo Creed, hoping, finally, to capture the heavyweight title. This time, even his girlfriend, Adrian, gives Rocky her blessing. Sylvester Stallone wrote and directed this exciting follow-up, with Burgess Meredith, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers, and Burt Young all reprising thier roles from the first film.

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