Monday, December 10, 2018

Review Creed II (2018)

#CreedII (2018): 7/10

Creed II is the eighth film in the ‘Rocky’ franchise and sees relative newcomer Steven Caple Jr. take over the reigns from ‘Creed’ creator Ryan Coogler. We catch up with Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) some years later after being crowned Heavyweight Champion of the World.

Dolph Lundgren returns in his iconic Drago role to face up against Rocky one more time, though this time from the sidelines. He and son Viktor (Florian Munteanu) bait Donnie into a title bout by playing on the memory of his late father, something Donnie feels he has to rise up to and face. We do actually witness a short recap of events from ‘Rocky IV’ as Donnie rewatches events himself on his tablet, which helps to familiarise new audiences with the ‘Rocky’ story without alienating the old audiences; a shrewd move from the writers.

Creed II is as much about Rocky making peace with his life choices as it is about Creed. Stallone gets a decent amount of screen time, and is his usual captivating self in the role. Michael B. Jordan puts on a real show, and Tessa Thompson is great once again. The Drago side story is just as intriguing, exploring the fallout after the conclusion of ‘Rocky IV’ from Ivan’s point-of-view.

The boxing sequences once again are well executed and intricately shot. You really feel every punch. Although there are lulls in the action, Caple Jr. gives time for the characters, family dramas and relationships to really develop, packing the finale with a meatier emotional punch. Of course, there are only so many ways of telling a similar story, but Creed II is still an entertaining watch, full of heart, nostalgia for die-hard ‘Rocky’ fans, and just about outshines its predecessor.

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