Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.
A war-hardened Crusader and his Moorish commander mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown in a thrilling action-adventure packed with gritty battlefield exploits, mind-blowing fight choreography, and a timeless romance.
Years after Adonis Creed made a name for himself under Rocky Balboa's mentorship, the young boxer becomes the Heavyweight Champion of the World. While life is good with that victory and his marriage to Bianca, trouble comes to Philadelphia when Ivan Drago, the Russian boxer who killed Adonis' father, Apollo, arrives with his son, Viktor, to challenge Adonis. Against Rocky's advice, Adonis accepts the challenge without his mentor's participation and pays the price in a punishing bout he wins only by a technicality. Now injured and demoralized, Adonis cannot bring himself to back into the game, leaving his spirit and title in jeopardy. Together, Adonis' family and Rocky must find a way to rekindle Adonis' fighting spirit to face the future in whatever choice he makes. Meanwhile, the Drago family have its own troubles trying to regain the respect in their homeland that they lost at Rocky's hands as they wonder whether is it truly worth it.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
You have to give Sylvester Stallone credit--he has a gift for remixing the same movie over and over and again and making you actually care. Maybe it's because he focuses on the one thing that matters most in storytelling: compelling characters. And Creed II is full of them.
First, there's Adonis (Michael B. Jordan), the brooding, bratty, world champion with a chip on his shoulder. There's Rocky (Sylvester Stallone), the downtrodden wise sage who only recognizes his role in things when the chips are down. There's Bianca Taylor, a talented singer suffering from hearing loss and her love for a self-destructive boxer. There's Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad), the weary widow of Apollo Creed who is consistently forced to check her man-child son, and then there are the villains. Ivan and Victor Drago (Dolph Lundgren and Florian Munteanu), the Russian outcasts seeking redemption for the failures of Ivan Drago. Everyone has a purpose in this film, and everyone has a place in moving the narrative forward: avenging the actions of Rocky IV.
This is a straight-up reboot of a Cold War classic, complete with the final match taking place in Russia. You know what to expect. The challenge from Ivan's son is the kind of storybook rematch the sports world loves. You know Creed has to take the fight to prove himself. And you know at some point, Victor Drago will get the better of him, setting us up for a training montage that never seems to get old. You see, when Rocky IV was released, it wasn't just a boxing film, it was practically a propaganda film about the superiority of American values and ideals. In Creed II, it's not about the country--it's personal. It's about discovering what matters most to you in your career and your own life. And as cliched as that may all sound, it works amazingly well in this film, thanks in part to the strength of the movies character development, phenomenal actors who keep the theatrical bits grounded and brilliant fight choreography and cinematography to settle scores.
I'll be straight with you, we shouldn't like Adonis Creed, but we do. He's a temperamental grown man baby that even knocks himself in the movie for "acting like a b---h." We shouldn't care about Victor Drago--he's a carbon copy of his android like father Ivan and barely has enough dialogue earn a film credit. But we do because we know that his father is living through him. The once powerful Ivan is an outcast in his homeland, and Victor's mother walked out on both of them because she has no respect for losers, so they're surprisingly sympathetic characters in their quest to be menacing. And we shouldn't care about Rocky's meandering ruminations about putting family over boxing when at no point in his career, did he ever do the same. Yet somehow this movie manages to make you care because the film understands that it's real power are in those small reflective moments building up to the fight. Moments like Creed's return to the local cheesesteak house and being welcomed by the fans who urge him to take the battle against Drago. Moments like Bianca and Adonis laying on the floor together like they did in the first film pondering their relationship and what Adonis's decision means for them. It's moments like Rocky pondering the broken relationship he has with his own son and trying to figure out if he dares to make amends. This is the glue that holds these films together--putting family above career and ego. And when it finally comes time to fight, your emotions are so heavily invested in the outcome that you'll find yourself (as did my audience) verbally cheering on Adonis Creed.
And in the end, it's the smallest of gestures by Sylvester Stallone (which I won't spoil) that lets you know that Rocky Balboa has nothing left to give and it is now Adonis Creed's time to shine in whatever sequel they have planned for us. Creed II a great time at the movies, even if it's a predictable one.
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