After iron man Drago, a highly intimidating 6-foot-5, 261-pound Soviet athlete, kills Apollo Creed in an exhibition match, Rocky comes to the heart of Russia for 15 pile-driving boxing rounds of revenge.
In a string of 3 and a half years after defeating former champion Apollo Creed and winning the World Heavyweight Title, Rocky has had 10 successful title defenses and is still the Heavyweight Champion of the World. At his retirement fight, Rocky loses his Title to ruthless and dangerous challenger, Clubber Lang (Mr. T) who also inadvertently kills his coach and father figure, Mickey Goldmill, Rocky goes in a depression. He holds himself responsible for Mickey's death. His former nemesis and fomer Heavyweight Champion Apollo Creed, trains rocky for his rematch with Lang, but Rocky is too broken down and finally Adrian, his wife confronts him and he regains his focus, trains hard and finally is able to defeat Clubber by knocking him out in the 3rd round(Clubber had knocked him out in the second round of the first fight) and regains his Title and him and Apollo becoming great friends thereafter.
Before the start of the second bout between Rocky and Clubber Lang, Rocky's weight is given as 191 lbs. This would have meant Rocky would be classified as a cruiser-weight, rather than a heavyweight. This would not preclude him from challenging for the heavyweight title however. The original limit was 190 lb; raised to 200 lb in 2003. That makes him a heavyweight. See more »
When Apollo and Duke are reviewing Rocky's first fight with Clubber and discussing how many rounds Rocky could potentially last, the footage they are watching is in black and white. However, during this scene there is a shot of Apollo looking at the screen, and the lights reflecting off his face show that the footage he is watching is in color. See more »
Clearly the most entertaining of the Rocky films due to its perfect pacing and well-choreographed matches. Stallone is at his best when playing Rocky--it is his vision and his creation--and, despite what Hollywood wants us to think, he is not a bad director either.
What he masters are "subtleties" (my term): certain facial expressions or small actions/reactions at perhaps less-than-pivotal moments which reveal his skill. They need to be really looked for to be seen, which is why only those who without the ability to look deeper than the surface find him so mediocre.
I don't want to give them all away, but here's one example of a subtlety that shows just how human he can make his characters (especially Rocky): in this film, in the break between the end of Round 2 and the beginning of Round 3, he is sitting in his corner getting a mouthful from Apollo. An assistant starts to spray something in his face (probably something to coagulate the blood, I don't know), but Rocky, who is focused intently on Apollo's furious coaching, opens his mouth as if he is expecting water to be sprayed in. He suddenly flinches in disgust as the spray goes in his mouth and stings his face. It's just a tiny tiny humorous moment that speaks loudly about attention to detail.
Or how about in Rocky 2, at the beginning of the match when they meet in the center of the ring and Apollo starts making his bravado-laden threats, we see Rocky just sort of nod and half-smile at him politely, then next you see a side-on shot of him turning to walk back to his corner, and the look on his face says "What a prick." Priceless.
I'm not a fan of boxing, or the first Rocky movie (too slow), or the last Rocky movie (huh?), but this one is extremely enjoyable for me to watch as a human being who faces challenges just like anyone else, and who needs that occasional inspiration to give me a dose of determination to overcome them.
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