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This epic training montage has something for everyone: inspirational displays of athletic prowess, Sylvester Stallone's shoulders, Carl Weathers' thighs, the long-lost male crop-top and short-shorts look, and the probably unintentional homoeroticism of Apollo and Rocky's slow-motion embrace in the ocean. We'll even forgive it for using the exact same theme song, Bill Conti's "Gonna Fly Now," as the first Rocky.
This theme song, Paul Engemann's "Scarface (Push It to the Limit)," makes us feel like we should be in spin class. It also totally fails to match the scenes unfolding before us, of Tony Montana (Al Pacino) and his men bringing bigger and bigger bags of cash to the bank while he marries Michelle Pfieffer, his sister flirts with his BFF, and they all admire a tiger. Sometimes, you just need to honor ridiculousness like this.
Kevin Bacon makes a case for himself as the world's most effective dance teacher when he trains farm boy Chris Penn to master the forbidden art through pastures, fields, and school hallways. The bromance between these two is as infectious as Deniece Williams' "Let's Hear It for the Boy," making us almost wish we could see this process unfold in real time rather than just the length of the song. We bet Kevin would be up for it if we asked really nicely...
Have you ever tried to sit through an actual amateur sport competition of any kind? Unless you're one of the competitors, it's deadly boring. That's why this is the absolute best use of the montage technique. Speaking of which, "You're the Best," by Joe Esposito, is basically the stick by which all other '80s montage songs are measured.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Someone has to look into whether museum attendance went up at the Chicago Institute of Art after this peaceful interlude, in which Ferris, Sloan, and Cameron ponder paintings and sculptures to the sounds of the Dream Academy covering the Smiths' "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want." It at least must have inspired some film geeks to play hooky in a much more edifying manner than ducking into the mall.