Movie Review - Creed 2

 

CREED 2 REVIEW

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, & Tessa Thompson
Directed By: Steven Caple Jr (The Land – 2016)
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 2 hours 10 minutes

          One of the ten best movies of 2015 was a surprising one, Creed.  A reboot of the original Rocky franchise starring Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed.  It was a phenomenal movie with fairly low expectations.  Maybe even the best Rocky movie ever.  You could make the case, just sayin’!

          The last installment of the Creed series had no bar to clear, now there’s a definite bar, and it’s set very high.  Creed 2 doesn’t necessarily clear it, but it also doesn’t matter.

          Follow me on what I’ll admit is a very convoluted journey, Creed 2 is the story of the Drago family from Rocky IV returning to challenge Creed to a title fight.  After Ivan Drago’s loss to Rocky he was kicked out of Russia and lives in exile, training his mountain of a son.  They make it to America with the help of a shady boxing promoter and then the fight is on.  Creed wanting to score revenge after the Dragos killed his father in Rocky IV.  The Dragos wanting to avenge their loss to Rocky and become Heavyweight champion of the world.  Yes, Dolph Lundgreen and Brigitte Neilsen reprise their Rocky IV roles.

          It’s not as complicated as it sounds.  But this is simultaneously a Creed sequel which is a Rocky reboot, and a Rocky IV sequel slash reboot.  It’s a reboot within a reboot.  It isn’t necessary, but it’s more interesting than any other story that could be told within this universe.  Rocky IV being the best sequel in the Rocky franchise.

          Creed 2 acts as a paint by numbers story that is predictable, yet satisfying.  There’s no amazing performances like the first movie.  You’re not as drawn into anything like the first movie.  But it’s as good if not better than most any Rocky sequel.  It works even though it isn’t great.

          A lot of the emotional touches from the first film can be credited to its director, Ryan Coogler.  Director of Fruitvale Station and Black Panther.  Yes, he’s worked with Michael B Jordan a lot!  He wrote the story and nailed it.  Credit to the actors as well.  This time around, the script was handled by Sylvester Stallone, and we can laugh at that, but he wrote the original Rocky in 1976, so think before you mock.  He knows this world better than anyone.  Creed 2 has a lot of emotional scenes, but you can see everything coming from a mile away and there’s no subtlety either.

          Creed was a better film in every conceivable way.  Story, acting, camera work, editing, soundtrack.  But as a person who enjoys the Rocky sequels, I can’t say I didn’t have a good time.  I can’t say I wasn’t actively rooting for Creed the entire time.  The bar was set unusually high for this movie after the home run of the original Creed, and that was probably a mistake.

          Creed 2 is a movie about fatherhood.  Four different types of fathers live in this movie.  Ivan Drago, Rocky, Apollo and Adonnis Creed.  Some of them good, some of them bad, but they all learn something from each other.  There’s montages galore, there’s three or four fights, everything you want from a Rocky film…except this is a Creed film and I thought that meant a little bit more.

On a scale of "See It/Stream It/Skip It", I'm saying "Stream It".  Save your money in case it isn't good enough for you.  No one is going to spoil anything.  You already know what's going to happen, I'm sure of it.

If you liked Creed, Rocky IV, or Rocky Balboa you might like Creed 2

2.5 out of 5 stars

I wanted a bit more, but wasn’t mad about what I ended up getting.

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