“Creed II” fights its way to the top as successor to “Creed”


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Michael B. Jordan, who plays Adonis Creed poses with fellow actors Tessa Thompson and Sylvester Stallone.

By Brandon Li, Copy Editor

“Creed II” delivers a smashing hit as the seventh installment in the “Rocky” franchise. Directed by Steven Caple Jr., “Creed II” picks up right where “Creed” left off, following the life of boxer Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan).

At the start of the film, Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) trains his son Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu). After Ivan was defeated by Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) 33 years ago, he lost everything he used to have. Now with his son following his footsteps in becoming a boxer, Ivan seeks revenge by having Viktor challenge Creed to a fight. Creed accepts the challenge because Ivan killed his father, Apollo Creed, during a boxing match.

Even though the film picks up on a fight that happened three decades ago, “Creed II” successfully manages to connect to the film that is essentially where it all began: “Rocky IV.” The long history between the Creed and Drago families is revitalized, and the stage is set for the epic rematch between the two.

Throughout the film, Creed’s ego and determination is tested, whether that means his dedication to his now-wife Bianca Porter (Tessa Thompson) or his tenacity to avenge his father’s death.

Within the two hour and ten minute runtime, the film contains three boxing matches, which is great for “Rocky” fans, as most of the films tend to only include two fights. In addition, since the film builds on the backstory from “Rocky IV,” fans will enjoy the continuity between the two.

An aspect worth mentioning is the cinematography. During the fight scenes, the numerous camera angles convey a convincing boxing match, detailing each jab, hook and uppercut nicely.

Furthermore, the music selection adds as a great complement to the movie. The intense melodies during the training sessions help to build on the suspense of the upcoming fights. Additionally, no “Rocky” film is complete without the inclusion of the iconic “Gonna Fly Now” beat, which is played during one of the fight scenes.

However, some say that the film was predictable at times, with the outcome of the final fight becoming more and more transparent as the movie went on. Nevertheless, the superb cast and dialogue make up for that.

With all of the action scenes and the occasional bits of humor, the film’s greatest facet is the chemistry between Jordan and Stallone. Fans got to see it flourish during “Creed,” and it does not fade away in this film.

After the release of the successful “Creed” spin-off, some wondered if “Creed II” would live up to the expectations of its predecessor. After watching all of the original “Rocky” movies and both “Creed” films, I can confidently say that “Creed II” is the cherry on top to the franchise.