by Isy Jordan


Creed 2
Director: Steven Caple Jr.
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan, Dolph Lundgren, Tessa Thompson, and more...

Under the tutelage of Rocky Balboa, heavyweight contender Adonis Creed faces off against Viktor Drago, son of Ivan Drago.

Fans of the Rocky franchise likely remember Rocky IV back in 1985. In that film, Ivan Drago challenges Rocky Balboa to a fight. He refuses and Apollo Creed takes up the fight instead. When Ivan killed Apollo Creed in the exhibition fight, Rocky was left devastated and resolved to fight the terrifying Russian fighter. In the next fight in Russian, Rocky defeats the Russian and the movie ends on a parable about change.

Flash forward 23 years, Rocky has been coaching Adonis Creed, the son of Apollo Creed who we met in the first Creed film. Adonis wins the heavyweight title and he asks Bianca to marry him. Things are looking good, right? In the middle of this domestic bliss, Adonis is challenged to a fight with Viktor Drago, the intimidating son of Ivan Drago who killed his father in the ring. While Adonis has nothing to gain in taking the fight, he does take it with some pretty harsh consequences.

Creed 2 turned out to be a lot better than a Rocky sequel out in time for the holidays. Yes, it seems to follow the formula for the other films to a point. But this reviewer was surprised to find a story with a lot of emotion and a lot of very good messages to leave the viewer with.

Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed continues to grow as an actor and he turned in a solid performance here in this film. Sylvester Stallone's Rocky Balboa is more of the man we knew in the first two Rocky films and it's really a bonus to fans of the franchise. Tessa Thompson and the rest of the cast turned in wonderful performances as well and made the film more of a character study than a boxing film. The acting gave this movie real heart and an ending that will stay with you for a while.

The film is rated PG-13 for the fight scenes otherwise there are no swears, sensual scenes, or other gratuitous violence. The entire family can enjoy this one. At 130 minutes, it was over way too soon for me but it ended at just the right time. I'm going to recommend this film to Rocky fans certainly, but to anyone who enjoys a good drama and a good story of the strength of the human spirit. This is a wonderful film.


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