I guess I’m committed to the Rocky series now. I mean, I’m not about to run up a bunch of steps and bounce around once I get to the top, but maybe some day.
Let’s get to it.
After finishing Rocky, it was clear to me that Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed were going to have a rematch. It was a classic story right out of pro wrestling, which meant the villain (Creed) was going to be embarrassed that an unranked fighter (Rocky) took him the distance.
Creed’s ego would get in the way, he’d obsess over defeating Rocky, and he’d do anything for a rematch, so he could redeem himself.
And that’s exactly what happened.
In A Nutshell
Rocky retires from boxing and marries Adrian. They buy a house and are expecting their first child, but neither of them are working. Rocky doesn’t want Adrian to work, but he doesn’t have any qualifications for the jobs he applies to.
Adrian goes back to work at the pet shop, while Rocky goes back to boxing and accepts a rematch with Apollo Creed. Adrian doesn’t want Rocky fighting, but after she falls into a coma and delivers their baby boy, Rocky Jr, prematurely, she tells him, “There’s only one thing I want you to do – win.”
Rocky wins by knockout and is the new Heavyweight Champion.
The First Five Minutes
I was getting flashbacks to the VCR era, where you intended to tape over a previous recording, but didn’t rewind to the beginning, so some of it was still on the tape. As a result, you’d have to fast-forward through the old show to get to the one you wanted to see.
That’s a roundabout way of saying, the first five minutes of this movie were the same as the last five minutes of the first movie. It was copy and paste.
A lot of movies claim they “pick up right where the last one left off” but this one actually did that.
We finally get to new footage and it’s Rocky and Creed running into each other in a hospital hallway, with a mob of media around them. Where was security?
Creed proposes the rematch, about an hour after saying there would not be a rematch, but Rocky is ready to retire.
Rocky is Retired
Rocky is 30-years-old and has decided to retire from the one thing he loves doing – boxing. There wasn’t even much fanfare around his decision. It was the exact antithesis to how Shawn Michaels retired.
Though, I guess if they were going to tell that story, it would’ve been Creed who would’ve pulled out the, “If I can’t beat you, I have no career” line.
With retirement, comes opportunity! Unwanted opportunity. It seems like everyone and their uncle is looking for Rocky to go into business with them.
Moments after Rocky’s marriage – which I’ll talk about in a moment – he’s asked about investing in condominiums. He doesn’t even know what they are.
Since Rocky is now a recognizable public figure, of course he has to be in commercials! The only problem is, he’s not a very good reader and struggles to deliver the lines on the cue cards.
He’s no Shaquille O’Neal selling Icy Hot.
Maybe they should’ve had Rocky sell school supplies. There would’ve been a Rocky, Paper, Scissors joke just waiting to be made.
Rocky and Adrian go to the Philadelphia Zoo and stop in front of the tiger exhibit, where the fence separating them and the tiger looked to be about three feet tall. It was terrifyingly short. I was expecting a groundskeeper to walk by and make a joke like, “Don’t stand there too long, or the tiger might come out to play.”
This fence was shorter than baby gates you put around the house. It was like putting a straw in the middle of the road and calling it a speed bump. It might as well have not been there.
Anyway, Rocky asks Adrian what she’s doing for the next 40 to 50 years. As you do, before you get engaged, I guess. He finally pops the question: “I wonder if you wouldn’t mind marryin’ me too much.”
Was it even a question? I don’t know. Adrian understood him, though. She said yes.
They get married and buy a house without even looking at the second floor. There could have been a baby elephant up there and they wouldn’t have known until they started moving in their furniture.
No one even flushed a toilet to test the water pressure! It was a hasty purchase.
Coming out of Retirement
Creed calls out Rocky on TV, calling him scared and accusing him of hiding. Typical “bait your opponent into a fight” tactics. I’m surprised he didn’t pull out a “na-na na-na boo-boo”.
Rocky’s trainer, Mickey, immediately goes over to his house and says it’s time to crush Creed. Rocky agrees, while Adrian isn’t a fan of the idea at all.
I think if Rocky were able to get a job, other than working at the boxing club picking up spit buckets, then he wouldn’t have gone back to boxing. But he felt like he had to financially take care of himself and Adrian, so this was the only way, whether she liked it or not.
Earlier, I mentioned the Tiger at the zoo and how it eavesdropped on Rocky’s proposal. Hey, maybe it was the “hidden” photographer? I don’t know.
A bit later on, Rocky is driving poorly down the street and pulls over in front of a store that is displaying a black jacket with a tiger on the back, in the window.
Without breaking into a whole, “How much is that tiger in the window” song and dance, he drags Adrian into the store and buys her a watch, as well as the tiger jacket for himself.
I think it was fairly obvious the movie wanted to associate Tiger-like qualities with Rocky.
When Creed was trying to pull Rocky out of “hiding”, a cartoon ran in the newspaper called, “The Italian Chicken” which was a play on Rocky’s, “Italian Stallion” nickname. Creed wanted people to think that Rocky was scared, while the movie combatted that with making us think he was a Tiger.
Mickey was training Rocky and pulled out a chicken, claiming that chasing the chicken would help his footwork. The chicken didn’t seem to have wheels, but who am I to judge?
Later on in the movie, Rocky finally caught the chicken. I’m pretty sure that was symbolic of the fact that Rocky wasn’t running from Creed anymore, thus squashing the “Italian Chicken” moniker.
This movie was intricate with its use of animals as a literary device, but I sniffed them all out.
Adrian is in a Coma
Adrian falls into a coma after delivering her baby, prematurely. The doctor told Rocky that is was the result of strain and being overworked, which is exactly why he didn’t want her working. He didn’t want her to worry about anything.
And yet, it was his boxing comeback that caused her the most stress.
Rocky is a Reader
This was another small plot point, like the tiger and chicken, that they weaved throughout the movie.
Rocky had trouble reading the cue cards at the commercial shoot, so he went home and would read to Adrian in bed. She always encouraged him.
And then when Adrian was in her coma, Rocky would read to her.
The whole reading thing, was just a small part of the overall story, but it did mean a lot. The “throwaway scenes” in this movie actually had value.
There were two Rocky training montages back-to-back, separated by a 30-second seen of Rocky putting Rocky Jr. down for a nap. I thought it was a bit excessive, but the people love the training montages so you have to give them what they want!
The guys huddling around a trash can on fire made a return in this movie and it seems like they just sing all the time now. I liked when Rocky referred to them as the Neighbourhood Jukebox.
Rocky was almost late for his fight because he stopped by the church to ask the priest for a blessing that if he got hurt, it wouldn’t be too bad. It sort of reminded me of when Kevin McCallister went to see Santa Claus before he “protected” his house on Christmas Eve.
I liked the movie! I don’t think I liked it more or less than the first one so I’ll go with an answer you’d hear at the eye doctor: “about the same”.
Again, it didn’t really feel like a boxing movie, as so much as it did a movie about a young couple trying to grow together. Perhaps that will change in the third movie, since Rocky is the Heavyweight Champion now.
As a viewer, I don’t crave another match with Creed. Personally, I’m a bit bored by him. However, if there is a rematch, I fully expect Creed to try and employ some underhanded tactics inside and outside the ring, in order to gain an advantage. He’s desperate now; he’ll do anything to get his championship back.
That’s how these feuds go in pro wrestling, so we’ll see.
Don’t spoil anything for me!
Have you seen Rocky II? What did you think of it?