Now the world champion, Rocky Balboa is living in luxury and only fighting opponents who pose no threat to him in the ring. His lifestyle of wealth and idleness is shaken when a powerful young fighter known as Clubber Lang challenges him to a bout. After taking a pounding from Lang, the humbled champ turns to former bitter rival Apollo Creed to help him regain his form for a rematch with Lang.
|Release Date||:||May 28, 1982|
|Production Company||:||United Artists|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Casts||:||Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith, Tony Burton, Mr. T, Hulk Hogan, Ian Fried, Al Silvani, Wally Taylor, Jim Hill, Don Sherman, Dennis James, Jim Healy|
|Plot Keywords||:||transporter, trainer, boxer, dying and death, boxing match, comeback, training, world champion, challenger, rematch, defeat, victory, sport, revenge, fame, wealth|
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.