Movies are filled with scenes that give you chills and make your heart sing, aren’t they?
George McFly punching Biff in the face? Glorious.
The moment Wil Wheaton points the gun at big bad bully Kiefer Sutherland and says,“Suck my fat one, you cheap dime-store hood!” as we see that perma-sneer on Kiefer’s face slip for just a moment is wonderful.
“Nobody puts Baby in the corner,” is a great line from a great film and sums up that character’s growth in six simple words. This baby girl is a woman now.
Andy Dufresne emerging from the tunnel and raising his arms? It’s a memorable image.
Trinity kissing Neo and then, within the Matrix, seeing him rise to his feet and finally believe in everything he had been told as he stops the Agent’s bullets in mid-air? Chills.
Sully opening the door, painstakingly reassembled by his best pal, and seeing Boo again Heartwarming.
Captain America finally wielding Mjolnir? A roof-raising cheer in every cinema that
However, the most uplifting moment in cinematic history is simply a tired mother saying one word. Rocky II is, to some, a rehash of the original film.
Even with the predictable victorious ending, it is essentially the same plot; down and out boxer goes from being bottom of the pile to fighting the champ. Whoop de doo. Been there, done that. We saw Rocky, we get it.
Yet, there is so much more to the film.
After fighting Apollo Creed in the first film (the ending of which is shown again at the start of this sequel), we find Rocky Balboa trying to find a job. He isn’t the champ, he didn’t win, and his fifteen seconds of fame passed quickly. He gives up boxing, partly due to doctors saying he has a detached retina and could lose his eyesight if he boxes again but mostly due to Adrian, the love of his life, wanting him to stop. He struggles to get any success from his short moment in the spotlight; some unscrupulous money managers and some poor choices soon mean that it doesn’t take long for him to be back at the bottom, struggling to make ends meet by working in a meat packing factory. As a final nail in his coffin, he is made redundant from that and so hits rock bottom.
Apollo, meanwhile, having grown tired of constantly being derided for not beating Rocky conclusively and even being accused of fixing the fight, starts to taunt Rocky into a rematch. Balboa refuses, of course, but the idea weights on his mind. Has he lost the passion? He doesn’t want to fight for fear of upsetting Adrian, who is pregnant, and yet that fire still burns deep inside. The constant berating in the press by Apollo (seriously, who doesn’t laugh when he is called the Italian Chicken?) gets to him and he finally agrees to a rematch. His trainer, Mickey, is reluctant to go along with it because he sees Rocky as a son but after one too many insults thrown around by Apollo finally agrees to train Rocky once more. Adrian is, not surprisingly, furious and refuses to support him.
We see this affects Rocky and, although he has begun training, his heart is not in it. This leaves Mickey frustrated and upset at what looks like Rocky throwing away the one thing he is good at. The two fall out, leaving Rocky with nobody to turn to.
Paulie, Adrian’s hot-tempered brother, confronts her about not supporting her husband. Following a furious confrontation between the two, Adrian faints and is rushed to hospital where she goes into labour. Thankfully, despite being premature, the baby is healthy, but Adrian falls into a coma. All thoughts of training and the rematch go out of the window as Rocky vows to sit by her bedside until she wakes. He feels that the stress he has been causing her made this happen and he is simply beside himself. He refuses to see the baby until Adrian is well and mother and child can be reunited. The man is broken, terrified and lost.
Finally, Adrian awakes from her coma and the couple get to hold their baby. Sitting there, with Rocky reassuring her that he’s put all thoughts of boxing aside and will do his best to support them, she asks him to do something for her.
Adrian: There’s one thing I want you to do for me.
Adrian: Come here…
Rocky: *leaning in, confused* What?
A bell chimes, the Bill Conti music kicks in, we’re off into the best training montage of the eighties and I’m sitting here teary-eyed as I write this.
Man, what a moment.
The love, understanding and meaning in that moment is laid out with one word and the axis of the film changes. We know that, without any doubt, Apollo has no bloody chance. A woman, lying in bed, turning to the man she loves and giving him everything he needs with just one word. It’s magic.
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