Rocky II sees Sylvester Stallone returns to the role of loveable boxer in this successful follow up to the 1976 smash hit Rocky. Once again the script was written by Stallone, but this time he’s at the director’s helm too. Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers and Burgess Meredith return to reprise their original roles, with Stallone returning to his role in better physical condition than the original. Unfortunately Stallone seriously injured a pectoral muscle during his intensive training for this movie, which delayed filming for two weeks full weeks; as a result the boxing featured was heavily choreographed.
After his tremendous effort against the heavyweight champion of the world Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), Rocky has retired and is enjoying life with his money and his wife Adrian who is now pregnant. However a spending spree results in financial issues which cause Rocky to search for a job, when manual labour doesn’t suit him he decides to accept a rematch against the champ against Adrian’s wishes. When their baby is born Adrian gave Rocky her blessing to fight and “win”, this inspires Bill Conti’s classic score and a gruelling training montage that is shot extraordinarily well. Then there’s the fight which ends in a great sequence of the dramatic effect.
Although Rocky II doesn’t quite aspire to the brilliance of the original Rocky, it is a very worthy sequel; more credit is due than it receives in my opinion. At 114 minutes it does run on a little too long, and there are some unnecessarily long dramatic sequences, but the film itself is good and the fight is done very well with great use of the slow motion button.