Sequels are never as good as the original. This is not true for Rocky II now available on Blu-ray but only as part of the Rocky The Undisputed Collection Box Set. The Undisputed Box Set features all 6 franchise movies with no extras. The extra features, already available on the DVD versions, are on a 7th disc. Rocky II is presented in 1:85:1 widescreen, the one without the black bars.
Rocky II Blu-ray is a bit brighter than the DVD version but the print itself is not 100% pristine. There are a few specs in the opening title sequence and in a couple of other places in this great boxing movie.
This very good boxing movie opens with the last minutes of the first movie where Rocky reaches his goal of lasting fifteen rounds with heavyweight champion Apollo Creed. A couple of scenes later, Rocky is back to normal life. He cannot parlay his fame into advertising for a lack of talent and some really cheesy commercials. Finding a job is hard. Married life suits him well though.
Meanwhile Apollo Creed is having problems dealing with the public’s reaction to the ending of Creed vs. Italian Stallion fight and feels he must prove he is the champ. Stuff happens and eventually Rocky agrees to a rematch.
This brings on some training scenes and the showdown between Creed and Rocky. This fight scene keeps you on the edge of your seat but not as much as the original.
Where Rocky II pales in comparison with the original is character development. In the original the secondary characters were really fleshed out and all had their dramatic moment on screen. Here, only Rocky and Adrian evolve. The other characters are just used to move the story forward.
The Rocky The Undisputed Collecton Blu-ray bonus disc includes: Feeling Strong Now! Game; Rocky Featurettes: Three Rounds with Legendary Trainer Lou Duva - Interview with a Legend - Bert Sugar: Author/Commentator and Historian; The Opponents; In the Ring: Three-Part Making-Of Documentary; Steadicam: Then and Now with Garrett Brown; Make Up! The Art and Form with Michael Westmore; Staccato: A Composer’s Notebook with Bill Conti; The Ring of Truth; Behind the Scenes with John Avildsen; Tribute to Burgess Meredith; Tribute to James Crabe; Video Commentary with Sylvester Stallone; Sylvester Stallone on Dinah! (1976); Stallone Meets Rocky; Rocky Anthology Trailers: Rocky Theatrical Trailer, Rocky Teaser Trailer, Rocky II Theatrical Trailer, Rocky III Theatrical Trailer, Rocky IV Theatrical Trailer, Rocky V Theatrical Trailer, Rocky Balboa Theatrical Trailer; Rocky TV Spots: Introducing Sylvester Stallone Critical Acclaim #1 Critical Acclaim #2