Even if Ryan Coogler didn’t direct this (obviously because of “Black Panther”), “Creed II” offers the same sentimental values and knock-outs of its predecessor. As another sequel to the “Rocky” franchise, the movie never gets knocked out, and it’s refreshing to see the original actors reunite. You’ll find out who I’m talking about in a jiffy.
Michael B. Jordan reprises his role of Adonis Creed, the son of Apollo Creed, who thinks he’s prepared to fight Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), the son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren)-the man who killed his father in the ring. Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) warns Adonis not to make the same fatal mistake his father made, but he goes through with it anyway. He wants revenge, but that’s not really the reason.
The movie also deals with Ivan and Viktor both struggling to change their ruined lives. Also, Adonis’s singer fiancée (Tessa Thompson) is pregnant, but worries about a certain hereditary. And Rocky hesitates about calling his son (Milo Ventimiglia), whom he hasn’t spoken to in years, and has a boy of his own.
“Creed II,” this time directed by Steven Caple, Jr., has a big heart of its own, and allows Jordan to, once again, ease his emotions. It’s patient, it’s consistent, and it’s emotional. It may be obvious at times, which can detach my interests, but for its strengths, the sequel still keeps you going.
Besides Jordan, Stallone never ceases to entertain me as Rocky with his dialogue and charisma. I admire the scenes with Lundgren, who doesn’t offers the same old rival father cliches, and Munteanu, who turns out to be a tough, natural actor. And you also have fine supporting work from Thompson, Phylicia Rashad as Adonis’ mother Mary Anne, and Wood Harris as Adonis’ trainer.
The obvious scenes I’m referring to are Adonis winning, losing and struggling to get back on his feet. I love it when the hero wins, but I also love a few twists and turns every now and then. And I would loved to have seen more scenes with Ivan and Viktor. Those scenes are quite interesting, and they never go off the deep end, but I wanted more.
But for everyone else-Jordan, Stallone, Munteanu, and Lundgren- and everything-the music, training, and emotions-“Creed II” keeps walking up those steps, and never gives up.