Matt's Movie Reviews logo
HOME REVIEWS PODCAST FEATURES TOP TEN VIDEO TOP MOVIES MMR AWARDS ABOUT
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo YouTube logo RSS logo
Custom Search
CREED II (2018)
Creed II poster

CAST
MICHAEL B. JORDAN
WOOD HARRIS
RUSSELL HORNSBY
DOLPH LUNDGREN
FLORIAN MUNTEANU
PHYLICIA RASHAD
SYLVESTER STALLONE
TESSA THOMPSON
MILO VENTIMIGLIA

BASED ON CHARACTERS BY
RYAN COOGLER

STORY BY
CHEO HODARI COKER
SASCHA PENN

SCREENPLAY BY
SYLVESTER STALLONE
JUEL TAYLOR

PRODUCED BY
WILLIAM CHARTOFF
SYLVESTER STALLONE
KEVIN KING TEMPLETON
CHARLES WINKLER
DAVID WINKLER
ITWIN WINKLER

DIRECTED BY
STEVEN CAPLE JR.

GENRE
DRAMA
SPORT

RATED
AUS:M
UK:12A
USA:PG-13

RUNNING TIME
130 MIN

 

 

 

 

 

Creed II image

A powerful 12 round boxing drama that deals with legacy and destiny, Creed II hits hard with the punches and emotions, successfully closing the chapter on one story while building upon another in this expansion of the Rocky saga.

Creed was about as brilliant a franchise reinvention as you could get. Written and directed by Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), the film took the Rocky franchise in a new direction through the introduction of Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), a young fighter with a chip on his shoulder and looming shadow in the form of his father Apollo Creed (famously portrayed by Carl Weathers). With the help of his mentor the iconic Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), Creed learns how to live up to his destiny inside and out of the ring.

As the way with all things Rocky, a sequel to Creed was expected, and the suitably titled Creed II delivers upon the lofty expectations placed upon it. This time with Steven Caple Jr. (The Land) in the director’s chair, Creed II successfully builds upon the promise and storyline of the first film. It also succeeds in establishing the title character as the central figure moving forward, with his aspirations, his deeds, and indeed his legacy the one priority.

Creed II begins that journey with Adonis Creed wining the heavyweight championship, as fiancé Becca (Tessa Thompson) and trainer/mentor Rocky Balboa watch on. Soon celebration turns into angst and anger, as a figure from Rocky’s past in the towering form of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) returns with his son Viktor (Florian Munteanu) to challenge Adonis in a battle for honour, legacy, and revenge.

Scripted by Stallone and Juel Taylor (his feature debut), Creed II expectedly, proudly retread’s the same story beats of the Rocky series before it. Yet Caple Jr. does a terrific job in moulding what could have been stock into an emotionally compelling sports drama, that efficiently tells its story of legacy and masculinity with much heart and virtue.

Where in the first movie Adonis seeks to reproclaim his family name on his terms, this sequel delves into the responsibilities and fears that come with manhood, as the young fighter meets challenges personal and professional. Michael B. Jordan portrays his characters struggles and triumphs with a beautifully layered and intensely powerful turn that gives this continual saga compelling heart and spirit.

Especially compelling is the performance from long-time action star Dolph Lundgren, who returns to the role that “broke him” into Hollywood and the pop-culture mindset 23 years ago. Yet while his previous Drago performance was all about cold calculated destruction, Ivan Drago circa 2018 is a character that is compelling, conflicted, and surprisingly sympathetic. Newcomer Florian Munteanu makes a big impact as Drago’s equally monstrous son, Viktor.

Caple Jr. brings a high level of excitement and innovation to the films’ knockdown, drag out fight scenes, including an inventive use of POV coverage that throws the audience right in the thick of it. More impressive is the second time directors handling of this material and filling of the large shoes Ryan Coogler left behind. In doing so, Caple Jr. not only brings this story of legacy and manhood to its full potential, but also establishes his own legacy building movie that will no doubt see the director and this newly refreshed franchise go from strength to strength.

 

****

 

RELATED CONTENT
Creed image Rocky IV image

APPROVED CRITIC AT
Rotten Tomatoes Logo
APPROVED CRITIC AT

Created and Edited by Matthew Pejkovic / Contact: mattsm@mattsmoviereviews.net
Logo created by Colony Graphic Design / Copyright © Matthew Pejkovic