Written by Sylvester Stallone and Juel Taylor and directed by Steven Caple Jr., Creed II is the next in the Rocky franchise spin-off. This time it brings an enemy out of the past.
Adonis “D” Creed (Michael B. Jordan) wins the title of heavyweight boxing champion under the guidance of his trainer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). Feeling confident after his victory, Adonis proposes to his girlfriend Bianca (Tessa Thompson). However, his celebration is short-lived when he is approached by fight promoter Buddy Marcelle (Russell Hornsby). The man who killed his father Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) in the ring, Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) is in America and his son Viktor (Florian Munteanu) wants to challenge Creed for his title. Despite his mother Mary Anne (Phylicia Rashad) and Rocky warning him not to take the fight, Creed decides to head to the ring for the toughest fight of his life.
I was hoping the sequel would close the gap between Anthony Bellew’s character from the first film, to sort of close the plot, but I guess the writers thought it would be too much like Rocky II. True enough, but I did think this film did a good job of capturing Adonis’ newfound desire to forge his own legacy outside of Apollo’s. This was a perfect match for the movie.
Like the first film, Stallone, Jordan, and Thompson all do an excellent job with their characters. Their acting skills are top-notch and it truly shows. I was also happy to see Rashad be given more screen time in this movie. She is a cut above and does an excellent job playing Apollo Creed’s widow and friend to Rocky.
I loved the return to form for Lundgren. His presence is big, both literally and physically. Even though he has gotten older over the years, he is still imposing and it shows in this movie. From his very first scene, he still has that foreboding presence.
I also liked the themes of fatherhood in the movie. Ivan and Viktor’s characters are a father-son duo who are trying to make a life for themselves after living in poverty. Rocky is distant from his real son, a decision he regrets, but his time as a surrogate father to Adonis helps him build the courage to face Robert, played again by Milo Ventimiglia. Also, as Adonis’ father died before he was born, he never had the connection but found it in Rocky and vows to be a presence as he and his wife decide to start a new life. It is something missing from a lot of movies these days.
Bottom line, Creed II an excellent continuation of this new franchise. The sports action, the acting, and even the Rocky Balboa easter eggs make it a powerhouse to watch and enjoy.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Foul language, Violence, Some sexual content
FAVORITE QUOTE: Since you’re going back to Hell, you might as well get used to it.
Check out the movie trailer:
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