Rocky Balboa is a little-known boxer who was given a shot at the heavyweight champ, Apollo Creed. Having done much better than anyone expected, Creed demands a rematch, embarrassed by his inability to dominate the "amateur" Balboa. Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As he had done with the original, Sylvester Stallone incorporated biographical elements from his own life into Rocky's story for this film. In particular, Stallone used as a central plot point the concept that yesterday's heroes are quickly forgotten. In the film, this manifests itself in terms of people quickly forgetting about Rocky's exploits in the title fight. In reality, Stallone experienced a similar sense of being quickly forgotten after his two post-Rocky (1976) movies, Paradise Alley (1978) (Stallone's directorial debut) and F.I.S.T (1978), both underperformed at the box office. See more »
"Rocky vs Apollo" poster above the crowd is back-to-front in one shot revealing the fact that the film was flipped for that particular shot. See more »
Immediately after Rocky's close contest with Apollo Creed, he is drawn into fame only to find it is a temporary thing. As the money fades he finds personal crisis is never far away and is tempted into a big money rematch against Creed. Meanwhile Creed, who should fight other fighters, is plagued by suggestions that the first fight was staged to go the distance. Things build to the rematch.
Stallone proves that he has got a money making brain in his head by basically remaking Rocky. The story covers similar themes it's a soap opera with a fight at the end. Here the soapy mush is mostly about his loss of money and decline back into the gutter, while we have children and comas thrown in for good measure. This is all well and good, and Stallone doesn't let it get too mushy. The script has some good scenes and mixes in comedy my favourtie line being where Rocky is advised to invest his money in condominiums, to which Rocky replies `condominiums? But I don't use them.'
This comedy helps endear Rocky to us despite being a bit `punchy'. The fight however that's where the money is. As in the first Rocky movie, the fight is a huge thing, full of emotion and welling music. The fighting is, of course, nonsense even sillier than the first film, but with the raw emotion and use of music you can't help but get involved even if you don't want to! At times it goes a bit far and may look a bit like ego-massaging by Stallone, eg the scene where he is out on his training run and is followed by hundreds of supportive children!
Stallone is good in all his roles, the playing of Rocky as a working class bum made good is bang on. Shire doesn't have much to do but she's good beside Stallone. Young is good and Meredith easily repeats his tour-de-force as the grizzled trainer. Carl Weathers is good as Apollo Creed and this is one of his best roles.
Overall this isn't a classic but by repeating the basic formula of the first movie and taking Rocky back to the gutter, this remains an entertaining soap that is driven by mushy, if formulaic, emotion.
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