Film Review: Fight for Redemption in the Rocky Universe of ‘Creed II’

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CHICAGO – In the EIGHTH exploration (wow) for the story of boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) – that began way back in 1976 – the son of his first opponent, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), must settle an old score and seek redemption for himself and those around him in “Creed II.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

The Rocky legend was revived in 2015 with the excellent reboot “Creed,” which featured Jordan as Adonis trying to find his roots through boxing, and being trained by Stallone’s legendary Rocky, reformulated as an aging Philadelphia ex-champ who has lost his wife Adrian to cancer and is estranged from his only son Robert. The pair developed a father and son relationship that was finely tuned by writer and director Ryan Coogler, who went on to “Black Panther.” In “Creed II,” it is Stallone back on screenwriting duty (co-written with Juel Taylor), and while this sequel has less of a punch than the first reboot, it still contains a bit of the Rocky magic that has made this series endure.

In the modern world of boxing, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) is going after the legacy of his father Apollo, as “Creed II” opens with him achieving the heavyweight championship, trained by the legendary ex-champ Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). In his personal life, Adonis is proposing marriage to his longtime pop star girlfriend Bianca (Tessa Thompson), and she accepts.

In the background of all this, a Don King-like promoter named Buddy (Russell Hornsby) has discovered a Russian boxer with connections to Adonis. Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu) is the son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), the man who killed Apollo Creed in the boxing ring (“Rocky IV”). Hoping to settle an old score, Adonis agrees to fight Drago, but Rocky will have no part of it. This showdown will affect all the relationships in the young champion’s life.

“Creed II” opens everywhere on November 21st. Featuring Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Dolph Lundgren, Florian Munteanu and Phylicia Rashad. Screenplay by Sylvester Stallone and Juel Taylor. Directed by Steve Caple Jr. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Creed II

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Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) and Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) in ‘Creed II
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Creed II

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