Rocky Balboa conquered the big screens in 1976 and became one of the most sought franchises in film history. Four years ago, the film producer and one of the leading roles, Sylvester Stallone gave back to the big screens the legendary Rocky whose story in cinema lasts for more than four decades, in Creed, decided not to stop.
To finally finish the road of his cult personage, he came up with a second and even more intriguing narrative of this boxing series project, directed by Steven Caple Jr., not known to the mass spectator.
Creed II is a terrific movie, a boxing picture full of inspired sweetness and shrewd science that honors the cherished traditions of the genre while feeling like something new and exciting in the world.
And it seems that we will be witnessing the end of Rock Balboa's legend, as Sylvester Stallone has recently announced that the film CREED II is a glorious end to the story of Rocky Balboa. According to the movie star, this film will be like his swan song.
So, let's have fun watching sport drama CREED II.
CREED II official trailer - Video credit: youtube
The Short Story Of The Movie
3,5 years ago, the battle for the world's lightweight boxing champion belt between Ricky Konlan and Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) ended with the first one's victory. But for Creed, it became the beginning of a new life. Trained by Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), the guy more and more convincingly wins the new battles, and his name sounds louder in the boxing world.
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A Russian boxer Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), a man from whose hands Apollo died, also hears about the son of legendary Apollo Creed. Until now, being unable to forget the shameful defeat to Rocky Balboa, Ivan decides to challenge Rocky's trained guy. Of course, he will not fight himself - his son Viktor trained by him will enter the ring by his son Viktor Drago (debut role of German Florian Munteanu).
A couple of centimeters higher and obviously more powerful Viktor is certainly not the opponent Adonis should choose to fight with. But this is only Rocky's opinion. Creed himself burns by the wish to go into the ring and struggle with the son of a man who killed his father. From this decision, Adonis is discouraged not only by Rocky but also by his wife Bianka (Tessa Thompson) and Apollo widow (Phylicia Rashad). Adonis does not obey their advice and is beaten down in the ring. The struggle is canceled simply because Viktor violates the rules.
Rocky sequel CREED II - Photo credit: twitter
Broken down physically and spiritually, Adonis must reconsider his life, his dreams, his griefs, and the causes of action. After daughter's birth, with the help of Rocky again, Creed gradually understands the real priorities of life and returns to the ring stronger than ever before.
The Content Of The Movie
Before 2015, when the first side project of the cult Rocky franchise, dedicated to the son of Apollo Creed, appeared on the cinema screens, no one could even think that the film would get such a high success not only among viewers and critics but would also be financially profitable.
Clearly, such a spectacular presentation of Ryan Coogler's film made the studio and Sylvester Stallone himself think of the history's continuation. And we didn't have to wait too long for the sequel. The second Creed's and the eighth film of the Rocky franchise, even before premiere caused a huge intrigue, as the film's action focuses on an event that not only messed up the structure of a well-known story in 1985 but also became a symbol of US propaganda in the fight against the hostile Soviet Union. This concept of the sequel not only proved its worth in dramaturgy but also caused a huge nostalgia for the entire Rocky franchise.
Movies on the boxing theme CREED II - Photo credit: imdb
The film's fights also deserve attention. It was a great job both at the beginning of the film and in the last act. Dynamic, tense, and realistic boxing elements won't let you feel bored even for a moment. That way, the film does not look too long. At least for me, everything here seemed fun and qualitatively done, both in terms of fighting and training. What more we could wish from a film where boxing takes the lead role in the storyline?
I think I will stop here because I do not want to tell the important elements of the film and reveal some of the story's twists on which the creators have laid the foundation for this film.
The new story is partly identical to the fourth part of Rocky, which may cause some viewers to think about copying a known story. But that is the intrigue. It is a meeting between the old and the new school after many years, which makes us even more aware of the consequences of these times to the present day.
Rocky franchise CREED II - Photo credit: twitter
Former champions are now not needed anymore and forgotten, and young and intense fighters are forced to take responsibility for the mistakes of their parents' youth. That is the base of the CREED II foundation, which, in my opinion, was able to attract not by the struggles or an indirect collision between Rocky and Drago, but because of a very sensitive and very topical topic - time and respect.
Throughout the film, from various and right sporting perspectives we see attempts to present all the sporting realities managed by money, and not the aiming to become the best.
Sport is a great business that is only with you when you are a winner. And no matter how many victories are behind your back, just one painful defeat is enough when all the doors close to you.
An excellent example of this is the character of Ivan Drago, who has become the core problem of the film.
Rocky sequel CREED II - Photo credit: twitter
The Characters Of The Movie
And if I started talking about the characters, I will not only mention Ivan Drago, whose fate was really interesting after the Rocky IV but also Rocky, for whom this new story has become a kind of farewell. And that farewell was really worthy of attention. The sensational, humanly, and very realistic end of the legendary path of the legend will force you to even wipe the tear as several generations of film lovers grew up with it.
Rocky Balboa : In the ring, you got rules. Outside, you got nothing. Life hits you with all these cheap shots. People like me, we live in the past. You got people that need you now. You got everything to lose, this guy has got nothing to lose.
Quote from movie CREED II via imdb
In addition to these two legends, Adonis Creed, who was here as the main character, received much attention in the film. And, I can tell you, in this movie, he grew up himself.
He is not the same emotional, self-satisfied, and yet doing many reckless solutions young man, but the man whose most important life goal becomes his family and not the ring. He fascinates because you see a striking transformation of the character, which from the beginning of the film to the finale is able to present a number of surprises.
Michael B. Jordan in CREED II - Photo credit: keiichisreelopinions.blogspot
And, best of all, to the finale, Adonis finally emerged from father's shadow and became an independent, well-established boxer and person who waits for new fights in the ring and beyond.
The main Adoni's opponent, Viktor Drago, is also presented in the film from a sufficiently dramatic perspective. He is not such a killing machine, like his unfeeling father, but a man with a lot of pain inside, whose only wish was to prove to his father that he is worth something.
Therefore, looking at him as the main film's antagonist is certainly not necessary, as it is the same person as the main hero of the film, who had a clear and sufficiently human goal in the ring, which cannot be condemned.
Florian Munteanu in sports drama CREED II - Photo credit: twitter
The Technical Side Of The Film
As in earlier series projects, in this movie too, the work of the operator is becoming the trump card of the technical part, which allows us not only to look into the action shown to us but also to see the clashes in the ring between two powerful fighters at a very effective angle.
Also, from the big pluses, at least for me, was a movie soundtrack that included the DMX song Who We Be and Mike Will Made-It Running, Fate, and Midnight. And, of course, the legendary Rocky music that has duplicated from time to time with Creed's themed melody.
The visual view of the film is also pleasing to the eye, both for makeup, for heroes' costumes, for the environment in which action and decorations took place, allowing us to see the differences between modern Russia and America. I have no reproaches for audio and video editing too.
CREED II - Adonis Creed vs Viktor Drago (Final Fight) - Video credit: youtube
The Collective Work Of The Film
Talented actor Michael B. Jordan, once again, embodied many of the challenges that Adonis Creed had to pass. The charismatic and dramatic character was undoubtedly one of the greatest advantages of this film.
In the supporting roles, the old wolves of the screen appeared - Sylvester Stallone nominated 4 years ago for Rocky's role in Oscar, and Dolf Lundgren, who has not big projects for a long time already, and 2018 has become a great year to him. In addition to CREED II, he had the honor of playing in a billion dollar world-wide Aquaman.
Both artists gave not only a high-quality performance, but they still forced us to feel nostalgia for childhood when we could watch their collision in the 1985 Rocky IV.
CREED II review - Photo credit: twitter
Other film actors such as Tessa Thompson or Florian Munteanu were also noticeable, but not as the main trio. It was a debut in the cinematography for Florian Munteanu, so his acting skills partly did not raise confidence, but his physical condition forced to believe in his strength. And that was enough.
A pleasant surprise was the short screenings appearances of some of the characters who appeared in the earlier Rocky's series. I will not reveal what about the language is going on here, but really the film's creators have made a great job to create a complete picture of history, not inviting new ones, but the same old actors to perform the roles I mentioned.
Movies on boxing theme CREED II - Photo credit: medium
On A Final Note
If you like high-quality movies on a boxing theme, good dramas, and feel the nostalgia for Rocky, be sure to visit the cinema because it is a worthy film's spectacle.
CREED II is a sequel to the phenomenal film of 2015, that keeps you in the tension and accurately combines the past and the future. It's not just a well-made film on boxing with convincing acting, quality technical and nostalgic history, but also a sensitive farewell to the legendary Rocky, who delighted us with his achievements for four decades.
We can negatively perceive boxing and other sports disciplines the goal of which is to injure your partner, but it is foolish to deny the fact that on the screen they look just awesome. In cinematic terms, boxing is the most monotonous of all martial arts, so it is important for filmmakers to be creative. Roughly speaking, to be able to shoot the same action in different ways. The Rocky series every time told the same inspiring story in the most diverse, resourceful, and spiritual way, and there is nothing equal to their films.
Movie Review: CREED II - Photo credit: imdb
The truth is that CREED II is a good strong sequel that develops the ideas of the previous tape in full accordance with the classic formula of the original franchise, but the first film about the magnificent Adonis, it must be assumed, will forever remain a rare treasure for the most pretentious connoisseurs.
Just recall the status of the first Rocky. Long-running legends of popular culture must begin with iconic things, you know!
Creed II fits the mold of every Rocky sequel-competent, entertaining, and a little passionless.
My rating: 8.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 84/100
Critics average: 81/100
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