Creed II1.5 Stars
- Steven Caple Jr.
- Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Phylicia Rashad, Dolph Lundgren, Sylvester Stallone, Milo Ventimiglia, Brigitte Nielsen, Florian Munteanu
- 130 min.
- Release Date
Just as Creed (2015) borrowed its template from the original Rocky (1976), Creed II draws not from Rocky’s first or even second sequel but Rocky IV (1985). This 2018 follow-up to director Ryan Coogler’s much-lauded “requel” continues to rethink the successful boxing franchise for today’s audiences. But it’s a by-the-numbers rehash that doesn’t have many surprises or much to say. The movie adheres to every narrative beat predictably, including a climactic bout that proves deflated and visually uninspired. Although the supporting cast—especially Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, and Phylicia Rashad—delivers memorable performances, the problem with Creed and Creed II remains that the writers haven’t given Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), now nicknamed Donnie, anything to fight for, aside from a fragile ego and need for revenge. Even though announcers describe the conflict as “Shakespearian,” the boxers remain the least compelling aspect of Creed II. The boxing matches also feel underwhelming next to the subplots surrounding them. Altogether, it’s a mediocre entry in the Rocky saga and a lackluster boxing movie.
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