Creed II Review
What’s It About:
After becoming light-heavyweight champion of the world, Adonis Creed faces his biggest challenges to date – silencing his critics, cementing his status, taking on Viktor Drago, the son of his father’s nemesis, and impending parenthood.
Who’s In It?
Michael B Jordan (Fruitvale Station, Chronicle, & more recently Black Panther)
Sylvester Stallone (Rocky, Rambo, & more recently The Expendables 1-3)
Other notables include:
Tessa Thompson (Selma, Thor: Ragnarok, Annihilation, & more recently Westworld)
Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV, Universal Soldier, & The Expendables 1-3)
Director: Steven Caple Jr (The Land)
After breathing life into what seemed like a dead franchise, Ryan Coogler rightly received the plaudits for resurrecting Creed from the ashes of the Rocky series. Unfortunately that success led him off to Wakanda, also with Michael B Jordan, rendering him unavailable for the sequel.
As a result Steven Caple Jr has taken the reins, and whether it is that lightning rarely strikes twice, or the fact that it doesn’t have Coogler’s assured hand, but Creed II doesn’t quite deliver the emotional punch of the original.
Essentially an amalgamation of Rocky III and IV, Creed II sees Donnie as light-heavyweight champion of the world. But the ghost of his father, and an increasing criticism of his premiership start to increase the pressure on him. Throw in a mountain of a man in Viktor Drago, son of Ivan, his dad Apollo's and Rocky’s nemesis, hellbent on revenge and restoring the family reputation, well things are looking bleak.
And to complicate things further, Donnie’s wife is expecting their first child and there is also a chance that the baby may also have hearing problems. Phew! Well with plenty of things to cling to, Creed II certainly promises much.
The performances and chemistry of Michael B Jordan and Sylvester Stallone still shine like a beacon from the screen, while the return and storyline of Dolph Lundgren and his son as the shamed Dragos is a great premise, however, unfortunately, the film fails many of its stars with their roles completely underwritten. The engaging Tessa Thompson is given little to do, while the promising Drago storyline isn’t given enough room to breathe and develop.
Too much time is also spent on soul searching and daddy issues, but when the main event finally comes around it is difficult not to buy into the predictable but somewhat satisfying finale, and if that Rocky music doesn’t get the pulses quickening midway through the fight, then nothing will.
In A Nutshell:
A solid follow up to the exhilarating original, but it is a little predictable and unoriginal with some disappointingly weak character development.
Michael B Jordan
The fight montages followed by that Rocky music
Dolph Lundgren’s return
A little predictable
A step backwards on the original Creed
Poor development on all but the central characters
Certificate: 12 / 12A