-Posted by Alyssa
The Italian Stallion is back for another bout in the ring. The pride of the fight is hard to stifle and it’s inevitable that Rocky’s passion will bring him to fulfill his destiny.
Rocky Balboa (Stallone) is feeling a bit lost after the split decision match with Apollo Creed. At first everything seems exciting. So much so that he buys a house, dog, and car all in the same day. However, the giddiness that came with the money from the match ends when reality comes knocking at his door. Rocky needs to get a regular Joe-shmo job if he wants to provide for his new wife Adrian (Shire) and the baby that she’s carrying. He tries his hand at working in the meat packing plant where his good friend Paulie (Young) works, but each slab of meat is a taunting reminder of what used to be. It’s a good thing he gets let go from that job or meat would have eventually ended up in pieces all over the floor. The urge to get back into the ring is driven further by Creed’s constant gloating and prodding. He wants to take on the Southpaw again and prove that their initial match was just a fluke. Soon Rocky discovers that he can’t run from who he is meant to be. With the help of his wily, grizzly trainer Mickey (Meredith), Rocky gets back into fighting shape for his revenge match with Apollo Creed. Cue the workout montage.
I may be an anomaly here, but I find this film to be more enjoyable than the first. This is in large part due to the fact that Stallone seems to have found his footing. His acting is more believable, the stakes are higher, and I can actually understand every word that Rocky says. This isn’t to take away from the first for its originality and machismo. Still Rocky II offers a fully-realized character who feels pain, needs to find self-redemption, and has obvious flaws and insecurities. It’s for this reason that Rocky finds a place in his audience’s hearts.