Rocky is one of the few film franchises that has truly stood the test of time. Why? It’s a franchise about love, heart and challenging limitations for yourself and others. In Creed, Adonis Creed struggled with embracing his identity of being the son of Apollo Creed and carrying on his legacy as a Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World, establishing his own unique bond with Rocky Balboa and falling in love with a woman who is unique, beautiful, creative and deaf.
Creed II revisits history by taking ‘D’ to Russia where his opponent is the son of Drago (Dolph Lundgren) who threw the fatal blow in the ring to Apollo Creed. What this impending event does to his psyche, spirit and confidence shape the arc of the story that in true ‘Rocky” fashion makes the audience root for the underdog.
Michael B. Jordan is a star. Period. He is given the task of having Adonis be emotionally raw and vulnerable and he rises to the occasion full throttle. Right alongside him in the passenger seat is Tessa Thompson as his ride or die. She is beautiful, real and the perfect companion to Jordan and Adonis. Phylicia Rashad is elegance personified in every role she inhabits and this one is not different.
Sylvester Stallone once again reprises Rocky Balboa, but this time a little older, a little wiser and ready to let boxing go and move onto the next phase of his life. Once again writing the screenplay and producing, Stallone knows exactly how to make this formula work making it one of the favorites of audiences globally. When you hear that theme song you just want to stand up and cheer!
Even though I loved the cameo from Bridgette Nielsen and Milo Ventimiglia, it was the introduction of Russell Hornsby as promoter Buddy Marcelle that was a sheer delight. Having said that, there’s about a 20 minute section that moves a little slow, but when those fight scenes get started you are invested 1000% percent. Creed II isn’t overall as strong as its predecessor, but it holds up the franchise with grace and style.
Produced by MGM Studios and Warner Brothers Pictures, Creed II hits theaters TODAY just in time for the Thanksgiving Holiday.