Creed II Review

Malcolm Durfee O'Brien, managing editor

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I was very confused when I found out Creed II was actually being made as to why it needed to exist. The story of Adonis Creed seemed complete in the last film, his character arc seemed over. Indeed, this film did seem unnecessary for the first third or so, it was meandering and focused on aspects of the characters which proved pointless. Then, something clicked in the next third, and necessary the film’s necessity became clear. I was thoroughly pleased with Creed II, though it contains many weak aspects. 

The strongest aspect of this film is by far the characters that inhabit the story. Each one has a complex and interesting character arc, and each has a villainous reflection of what they might become should they fail to change in their arcs. Adonis Creed is driven near to obsession as he tries to redeem his Father’s failings, and is reflected in Viktor Drago, who is so obsessed with reclaiming his Father’s glory that he has been reduced to nothing more than an unthinking brute. Rocky Balboa is saddened by his failure to be with his son, reflected by Ivan Drago’s constant and abusive presence over his son, who he has turned into a machine of vengeance. The performances are also extremely strong. Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky is as entertaining and likeable as ever, Michael B. Jordan, perfect actor, does a fantastic portraying a psychologically scarred Adonis Creed, Dolph Lundgren gives a great and subdued performance as the obsessive and depressed Ivan Drago, and Tessa Thompson is excellent as Adonis Creed’s fiancée, Bianca. The directing is excellent as well, especially in the fight scenes, where the energy is so high that one can almost feel every hit landed. Finally, the movie is from the Rocky franchise, so the music is truly incredible, inspiring that fist pumping enthusiasm that the previous themes evoked. 

The film has many weak aspects as well, such as the meandering nature of the film’s opening, where every scene feels incomplete, like there was something else that was supposed to happen in the scene. There is a litany of minor side plots which prove unnecessary to the plot at large, such as a plot point about Adonis’ being afraid for his baby being deaf and a lengthy sequence in which Adonis gets mad at Rocky only for him to immediately return to his side. The villains are also somewhat underdeveloped, making them somewhat weak as villains, but not to an egregious point.  

Overall, this film proved its necessity. I give it four training montages out of five. 

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