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Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Rocky II


***

Following their original fight, the world is calling Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) a phony who let Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) go the distance in the ring. Determined to prove them wrong Apollo challenges Rocky to a rematch, but with the Italian Stallion blind in one eye following their original fight, and with new wife Adrian (Talia Shire) with child, things are not looking good for Rocky.

Generally this is a rather triumphant film indeed, thanks to a large amount of the screenplay, which shows Rocky trying to overcome his problems. Being blind in one eye results in Rocky being forced to live a much harder life in the first half of this film than he did in the original (1976). Being uneducated and slow means the only job he can get is carrying animal carcasses at a meat packing plant, and this creates a rather sympathetic view of the character, who has most definetly gone from hero to zero, and having been inspired by the character's triumphant journey to the top in the original, which we really felt, it does create some sad emotions within. However, the screenplay does go a little over the top in giving a sympathetic view of Rocky, really milking the idea that he is a loser in the real world, resulting in a fairly one-sided and underdeveloped performance from Stallone.

When Rocky finally does come back to fighting, his Gonna Fly Now scene is a triumphant one, but it is made too triumphant, and too stupid and over the top. The magic of the original was that it showed everything he did in order to be ready for his fight, but all this one shows is him running through Philadelphia, and he ends up running so fast you would think he was the Flash. Although the fact he has come such a long way over the course of the film to this point makes this a triumphant scene, the fact of the matter is that you can't help but watch it and go "really?" as the magic of the original just isn't there. The final match between Rocky and Apollo really makes up for it, though. It genuinely is an intense fight - fifteen rounds with neither one willing to back down or go down. Filmed with a number of well edited close ups, it really does draw you in, and it makes you glad that you weren't the camera man for this scene, as the last thing you would want is one of these brutes decking you by accident.

It is a flawed film, but it is a triumphant one, so it is most definetly worth watching. An intense film experience is offered up here thanks to the final incredible match, and the sense of triumph, although over exaggerated, is often quite uplifting.


1979.
PG.

Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith, Burt Young, Tony Burton, Joe Spinell, Leonard Gaines, John Pleshette, Sylvia Meals, Paul J. Micale, Frank McRae, Bill Baldwin, Stu Nahan.

People's Choice Award: Favorite Motion Picture.

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