Rocky II follows much the same theme as its predecessor – that is fighter Rocky Balboa’s path to a stab at the heavyweight crown. In its boxing and training scenes Rocky II packs much of the punch the original did, complete with an exciting pugilistic finale that’s even better than its predecessor.
However, in an attempt to tell the new story – that of Rocky’s adjustment to near-success and an attempt to lead a non-boxing life – the plot tends to drag and the picture takes on a murky quality.
Luckily, director, actor and scripter Sylvester Stallone and producers Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff know from experience audiences love to root for the underdog and have concocted an irresistible final 30 minutes.
1982: Nomination: Best Original Song (‘Eye of the Tiger’)