Sylvester Stallone and Michael B Jordan beefed up for an emotional drama with Creed II to conclude the Rocky franchise and they sure touched our sentimental chords. One of the most famous boxing-related movies of Hollywood that put Sylvester Stallone in the chart, Rocky, got itself a good ol' spin-off by Ryan Coogler back in 2015. It isn't very long ago but looks like the makers, especially producer Syl wanted to play Rocky one last time before he bid adieu to the franchise. Perhaps that's what makes this sequel all the more intriguing and emotional.
The sequel begins with Adonis Creed (Michael B Jordan) being adorned with the colourful Heavyweight Championship belt after he defeats his nemesis. Little does he know that he has a bigger nemesis in the ring who is making his way towards him. Ivan Drago, (Dolph Lundgren), the man who defeated Apollo Creed (Don's father) and killed him in the process, is preparing his son Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu) for a battle that doesn't deserve to be fought for either of the parties. Grown with repressive anger and lack of emotions makes Viktor a monster who is unleashed in the ring as he faces Creed for the first time, almost killing him in the process! What follows next is the rise of Viktor, the emotional fall of Creed and how they reverse roles by the end of the film.
Sounds like a familiar saga to you? Well, there's nothing new to see here, except the farewell of legacy, the fight for power and position, the battle to recover one's lost name and fame. Both Viktor and Adonis are two varied personalities who have beautifully fulfilled their duties as determined sons to make their parents happy.
Much to my surprise, the two characters are very much alike with a few variations. So with respect to the character caricature, hats off to the writers! Writers Juel Taylor and Sylvester Stallone have done a very good job of creating similar personalities and juxtaposing them on the big screen. You empathise with both of them and at one point, you really do feel for Viktor. The thin line between masculinity and vulnerability the two boxers have been adapted to maintain is just simply marvellous.
The way the film transpires from a simple ego kick to a life-altering experience, it all works out beautifully in the film. While Creed (first part) was a tremendous blow to everyone who disregarded the movie, Creed II has managed to stay true to its roots and not mess with the magnanimous goodwill created by the franchise altogether. The characters are raw, relatable, realistic and supremely emotional, in a good way of course. Creed II Trailer: Michael B Jordan and Sylvester Stallone's Return to the Ring Brings Back a Popular Adversary
Just like Creed 1, the essence of brilliant fight choreography, finesse in capturing the emotions within the ring, undeniably involving fight sequences, will keep you on the edge of your seat, literally. Perhaps Steven Caple Jr was aware of the immense pressure involved in offering the best version of the Rocky franchise and if not best, at least the one that will be remembered. It all seems to have worked out really well. One big concern that kept bothering me was the lack of screen space for an actress like Tessa Thompson. As she plays Bianca, Adonis' pregnant fiance, little relevance is given to her character.
For an actress who has a magnetic personality to make cameras turn to her and for fans to applaud her, the makers should have given her a meatier role. But again, since it is primarily about Creed and his godfather Balboa, Bianca cannot be expected to steal the limelight.
- Sylvester Stallone and Michael B Jordan's camaraderie (no doubt there).
- The fight choreography.
- Michael B Jordan's performance through thick and through thin.
- The part with Rocky's theme music playing in the background as Jordan enters the boxing ring.
- Relatable storytelling.
- Impeccable performance from the supporting cast, Tessa Thompson, etc
- Each and every symbolism and role reversal curated.
- Brave attempt by the director to take Ryan Coogler's place (he directed Creed 1 which released in 2015).
- A satisfying end to the Rocky franchise.
- Milo Ventimiglio's surprising cameo!
- Not an original story.
- Seemed like a rip off of the fourth and fifth Rock movies.
- Nothing new to see, per se.
- Not enough screen time for Tessa Thompson
It's the one fight you wouldn't want to take sides of! If you are a Rocky Balboa franchise fan and have adored the actor's portrayal of the celebrated onscreen boxer, you definitely shouldn't skip this film. Not only does it conclude the four-decade-old boxing franchise but does justice to its legacy with a decorous farewell.