By James Davidson
In 1985, Rocky Balboa stepped into the ring with Ivan Drago in the final scenes of “Rocky IV”. The loveable underdog fought the giant Russian to defend his title and seek retribution for Apollo Creed, who was killed by Drago in the ring. Now, over forty years later, Apollo’s son, Adonis, will fight the son of Drago, Viktor, in the movie “Creed II”. Adonis (played by Michael B. Jordan) is the newly crowned heavyweight champion of the world which he achieved with the help of Rocky who is his trainer. Adonis is challenged to a fight by Viktor (played by Florian Munteanu), who wants to bring glory back to Russian boxing and to his family.
I have seen all of the Rocky movies, as well as the first Creed movie, and I think all of them are instant classics and definite must-sees for any fan of sports films. I was hoping this movie would carry on the tradition and for the most part, it does. I don’t think this movie really needed to be made though. It felt like a remake of Rocky IV instead of a fresh, new movie. It follows the “Rocky” template religiously, right down to the training montage. Which works, but is not very original.
I didn’t find the movie to be original at all and it was very predictable. A lot of the struggles and problems that Adonis and Rocky faced in this movie are almost exactly the same as what Rocky faced in “Rocky IV”. I was able to figure out exactly what choices were going to be made and what was going to happen early on in the film.
However, this didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the movie. The acting was amazing, with Michael B. Jordan leading the way. Jordan does a great job portraying the struggle that Adonis faces fighting the son of the man that killed his father, even if that was foreseeable.
The predictability of the movie also doesn’t take away from the strong characters and a strong, albeit predictable, plot. I definitely enjoyed the film and was entertained throughout. I found the plot to develop slowly in some places which made the film feel like it was dragging on, but that did not take away from how entertaining the film is.
It was fun to see Sylvester Stallone reprising his role as Rocky, he plays the character perfectly. I also liked seeing him and Dolph Lundgren, who returns as Ivan Drago, together. It was nostalgic to see the characters interact again and both actors resumed the roles flawlessly. The character development was strong and helped make the film as engaging as it was.
“Creed II” is rate PG-13 for sports action violence, language, and a scene of sensuality. I think it would be a great family movie for those with older children. It is also great for any fans of the “Rocky” movies. I don’t think you have to see the first “Creed” to understand what is going on in this movie, but I definitely suggest you do.
While “Creed II” is predictable and not very original, what is lacking in originality is made up for with strong writing and amazing characters. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” seems to be the mantra the filmmakers followed, and it works for this movie. It earns 3.5 out of 5 stars.