Rocky II (1979)

Rocky would have always been a hero with or without a sequel or franchise. His journey to the championship bout and his one shot at glory was always gonna memorable and inspiring. We would have all been fine if he never got another shot at redemption, but here we are with Rocky II. The best part of this story is not Rocky’s struggles with fame and family, it is Apollo Creed’s burning passion to destroy everything Rocky was and stood for. If you’ve seen the first film/fight, you already understand who Rocky was as a person and as a boxer. To be the perfect antagonist, Creed had to hit below the belt and go to the extremes to be the bad guy. Sports are “never personal” but always end up stirring up emotions to become very personal. Emotions are a huge part of who Rocky is and what he does. When he stands bruised and battered and yells “Yo, Adrian, I did it”, there shouldn’t be a dry eye in the house. This was the defining moment not only for Rocky but for Stallone himself. His dream, this character that he poured his heart and soul into, turned out better than he could have ever imagined. These first two instalments are really moving, thanks in large part to a loveable character and his passion for life. This journey should inspire ordinary people to set goals and try to achieve impossible dreams. Some people would say Rocky was in the right place at the right time, but I would argue that Rocky was always there giving everything he had, while waiting to show the world what he was capable of.

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