Arts & Entertainment,  This Week's Paper

Creed 2 is an emotional GUT PUNCH

The Rocky films hold a very special place in my heart, they were a staple of my home while
growing up. From the endlessly quotable lines, to the fight scenes,  to the undeniable sense of
inspiration that comes from them, the Rocky Films range from cinematic gold to guilty
pleasures. Rocky IV, which this film is following up on, being the height of mid glorious 1980s
cinematic shlock!

 

When I went into the first Creed film I was extremely skeptical, but two hours
later I was floored by what a well crafted and well executed film it was. So when the sequel was
slated to be released this year I became very worried, asking “Would it be as good as the first?”
and “Will it be goofy like many of the Original Rocky’s Sequels?”.

 

Having now seen Creed 2, I can safely say that it is not only as good as the film, it left me just as entertained as the first film. Picking up a while after the first film and over 30 since Rocky IV, the film once again focuses on Adonis Creed, son of Apollo Creed, who is settling into his new status as heavyweight boxing champion and is in the process of taking his relationship with his girlfriend Bianca (Tessa Thompson) to the next level.

 

As this is happening, Rocky Balboa’s old foe Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) has been training his juggernaut of a son Viktor (Florian Munteanu) to regain the lost honor of the name Drago by defeating Adonis. The film goes to all the places you would expect a Rocky/Creed film, brutal boxing scenes, motivational speeches & training montages, slow-motion, emotional scenes, the works!

 

While these cliches are more or less expected by this point, the film at no point is ever boring, being able to weave between testosterone fueled energy to gritty emotional scenes will ease. Michael B. Jordan once again shines as Adonis, bringing equal parts passion, humor and gravitas to a role that in lesser hands could have come off very plain and forgettable. Of course Sylvester Stallone is just as good as he ever was in the role of Rocky, after all, the man has been playing this role since the late 70s. Rocky’s character was just as wise and hilarious as ever.

The films overall moral has a lot to do with fatherhood, and taking responsibility within
that role, this is shown through both the semi Father-Son relationship between Adonis and
Rocky, Adonis and his girlfriend dealing with an “unexpected” change in their relationship,
even Drago and Viktor have an arc regarding their relationship. This arc is a welcome bit of growth for the character of Drago.

 

Not to be forgotten are the spectacularly brutal and engaging fight and training scenes. All of which elicited intense reactions from the crowd I saw the film with. Several cheers, cries of anguish and gasps were let out, some of which from your’s truly. I can’t lie when I say this film brought out some intense emotions in me.

Creed 2 succeeds at being a worthy follow up to its predecessor and a truly excellent
time at the movies. I cannot recommend it enough.

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