Punching well within its weight class Creed II is a knock out sequel that delivers something for new and old fans. Taking care to respect the source material it continues the story and shows us that everyone has a chance of redemption. If you have been watching Rocky moves since the 70s or only have joined the series in 2015 there is something for all viewers.
A bit of a history lesson here. Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) a Russian boxer, killed Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) in the ring back in 1985, during Rocky IV. Rocky (Sylvester Stalone) has been cursed with the guilt that he could have saved Apollo by throwing in the towel at a critical moment. Against his better judgment, he follows the wishes of his friend and that leads to Apollo’s death. Those events have shaped Adonis “Creed” Johnson's(Michael B. Jordan) life. Losing his father made him who he is.
Rocky challenges Ivan in Russia and defeats him. This disgrace causes Ivan to fall out of favor and he loses the status, support and respect being a boxer brought. He has lost everything but his son Victor (Florian Munteanu). He trains his son to be the champion he couldn't be.
The opening scene we see Adonis take on the Champion and win this draws the attention of Ivan who sees his chance to regain everything he lost.
This is an incredible story that shows the growth of everyone. It’s not just a boxing sports movie its a story about redemption. Its strengths are about the lives of the characters. Two people trying to make a life and balance the demands of fame. A man trying to recapture fame and fortune by pushing his son to his limits and a man who is trying to reconcile his past and make a connection with his own family.
Adonis and his wife Bianca (Tess Thompson) move to LA to help her career and be closer to Adonis mother, Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad). Their onscreen chemistry is so engaging and wonderful to watch. It is a perfect love story that illustrates a great relationship of how two people can be a couple and still retain their own identity.
The rise and fall of the main character is the formula they use to shape this story around but its underlying theme is that family is the most important thing in our lives. No matter what we do or what we go through having a great support structure supporting you is paramount. It does include the tropes of other boxing movies but it’s not only those it’s so much more. The fight scenes are top notch and the training montage is outstanding but really it’s just frosting on a well-written cake.
Michale B. Jordan is outstanding in this role he has the range to pull of any role. Tess Thompson also brings her a game to this film as she is a strong character who is also vulnerable and tender. The story takes you by surprise, we have seen this story before but not in this way. I love the fact this is not a reboot or a rehash, its a continuation of a story that teaches us to never give up and hold fast to those who truly love us.
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