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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Movie Review - Rocky II

***Rocky Week -- Day 2***
***Note:  Spoilers may appear in all Rocky Week reviews.***
Rocky II (2015)
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, and Burgess Meredith
Directed by Sylvester Stallone

It's not that Rocky II is a bad movie by any means -- it's simply that the overall story of Rocky II is a complete rehash of its predecessor.  Even though he lost the big fight at the end of the first film, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) finds himself still living on a bit of a high (yes...Rocky's success is the biggest difference between the first and the second films).  After marrying Adrian (Talia Shire), Rocky wants to live life as grand as his endorsements will carry him, but the money runs out quickly and he's forced to head back to boxing again.  And he's gonna come back to the ring fighting Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers)...again.  With an even more epic fight at its conclusion (15 rounds!), the beats of Rocky II simply feel to similar to the original.

Surprisingly, however, Rocky II is innately watchable despite feeling repetitive.  Stallone and Shire feel more nuanced as characters and actors and their relationship gets to be a little more fleshed out with Adrian's pregnancy taking center stage on the homefront side of the story.  Unfortunately, the boxing side of Rocky II is much too much the same.  Stallone -- who not only wrote but also directed the film this time -- starts the film with the final six minutes of the prior movie.  It's an odd way to try to start things off on a new note and, quite frankly, it's indicative of the film's biggest problem.  That said, Stallone actually does a nice job directing here pretty much equalling the direction of his predecessor with the film having some lovely cinematic scenes.  I worry, however, that the repetition of Rocky II may be indicative of the rest of the series' films.

The RyMickey Rating:  B-

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