Release Year: 1979
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Writer: Sylvester Stallone
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith, Tony Burton, Joe Spinelli, Sylvia Meals
Moviegeek Sunday Classic #231, week 47 2018
Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) struggles to make ends meet for his family after his retirement, while the embarrassed champ Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) keeps goading him to accept a rematch
Rocky two gets two things absolutely right: it recaptures the spirit of the excellent Rocky (1976) and it continues the story in a natural and logical way. No need to go by the (by now standard) formula of bigger, better louder. Yes, there is a rematch, but the story is so well constructed that everything leads to that point without feeling forced. The focus is still on Rocky, that lovable man of the streets, this time around he is married to Adrian (Talia Shire) and has to deal with finding a place in the world after boxing. Apollo Creed, played by an intense Carl Weathers (Action Jackson, 1988), on the other hand finds getting on with his life impossible. The majority of the film is a good drama and the final act is gripping sports drama. A bit overlong, but almost as good as the first Rocky film. Highly recommended.
In an earlier version of the screenplay there is a flashback seen to Rocky’s first encounter with Mickey in which we learn his first name which is Robert.
Sylvester Stallone began working on the script for Rocky III (1982) immediately after finishing this film. Originally he intended to make it a trilogy and had not planned to make a fourth movie.
The real life inspiration for the character Rocky, Chuck Wepner, was offered the part of a trainer, which was written for him. Apparently his reading went so poorly that the character was cur from the script.
Picture Copyright: Walt Disney