Creed II

The eighth installment in the Rocky movie series first released in 1976 and the sequel to the 2015 spinoff movie Creed, Creed II is a rather formulaic boxing movie that follows closely in the footsteps of the genre-defining film Rocky but is able to remain entertaining by being updated to follow the sports world of today. Taking place several years after the first Creed movie, the plot follows boxer Adonis Creed, played by Emmy-nominated actor Michael B. Jordan, who is the son of Apollo Creed featured in the original Rocky films and killed in a fight in 1985’s Rocky IV. The beginning of the film shows the young Creed capturing the world heavyweight title, but he is faced with an even greater challenge by Viktor Drago who is the son of Russian boxer Ivan Drago, played by Dolph Lundgren, last seen as the nemesis in Rocky IV. At first, the aging boxer Rocky Balboa, played by Oscar-nominated actor Sylvester Stallone, refuses to help train Creed because he is worried that he will suffer the same fate as his father fighting the much more powerful young Drago. He goes on to fight Drago in a match that leaves him badly injured, which particularly upsets his new fiance Bianca, played by Tessa Thompson. Creed’s mother Mary Anne, played by Phylicia Rashad, becomes a supportive influence on her adopted son Creed in helping navigate his relationship with Bianca and preparing to fight her husband’s son’s killer. While Creed is dealing with his own issues, Bianca is following a similar trajectory by being a musician suffering from a progressive hearing disorder that she fears will be passed on to their newly expected daughter. Eventually, Rocky decides to help Creed in the final major rematch that will take place in Moscow against Drago, and the movie follows the typical cinematic device of having a training montage that shows the progress that Creed makes in preparation for the fight of his life, quite possibly literally. The actual boxing sequences are effectively well done and keeps the audience engaged through thrilling and highly stylistic dramatic vicious fighting. Overall, I found it to be an enthralling addition to the already rich Rocky franchise that somehow finds a way to stay relevant despite the predictable outcomes as a result of the terrific acting performance given by the star Michael B. Jordan.

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