Reviewed by Rama Gaind.
Director: Steven Caple Jr., Roadshow Entertainment.
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Florian Munteanu, Tessa Thompson.
This sequel is not quite as impressive as the original, but is still another engaging entertainment. It highlights an overarching dilemma of manliness and defencelessness between men who are trained to be sturdy in the ring.
In continuing the Rocky Balboa saga, the awareness is obvious of the elements that made the 2015 Creed work well. It doesn’t feel like a weary rework.
Adonis Creed Johnson (Jordan) is the newly-crowned heavyweight champion who is being coached by Rocky (Stallone). Adonis is being prepped to face off against Viktor Drago (Munteanu), the son of Ivan Drago (Lundgren).
Adonis is happy in a loving relationship with his pregnant musician girlfriend, Bianca (Thompson). Living near and working out with a recovering Rocky, who is there by his side. Nothing’s more important than family – and Rocky and Adonis, together, will confront their collective bequest.
For Adonis, life has become a balancing act. He is up against the challenge of his life juggling between personal responsibilities and training for his next big fight.
Meanwhile, dissatisfaction prevails from boxing experts. There’s a view that the title by Adonis is the result of a lack of real challenge. On the other side of the world, Rocky’s former nemesis Ivan, the man who killed Apollo in the ring, is training his son Viktor. When an ambitious boxing promoter offers them a chance to take on Creed, the champion decides to not only possibly put his life in danger, but also his title in jeopardy.
Facing an adversary with ties to his family’s past only reinforces his imminent bout in the ring.
Some special features of the Blu-ray include the chance to explore fathers and sons – how Apollo Creed and Ivan Drago’s legacy and rivalry take a toll on their sons; go behind-the-scenes of the casting of Munteanu as Adonis’ greatest challenger; the women of Creed II; and experience the enduring impact of the world of Rocky through the years.