Having grown up watching Rocky movies from a very young age I looked forward to the new incarnation of the series through the brash and often times obstinate Adonis Creed, son to the famous boxer Apollo Creed. Very much the product of his father, a son who wishes to be nothing like him yet echoes every move in a vicious circle, doomed to repeat the same mistakes of his father.
Under the wise tutelage of Rocky, Creed now champion will face off against an old adversary in the form of Victor Drago, a man mountain who is very much the carbon copy of his father Ivan Drago.
We open on a disgraced Ivan Drago, who has no country, respect or honour pushing his son to the limits of endurance in the hopes that he will regain their life back and the finery that this implies. When Victor beats an opponent quickly in an underground boxing match he falls into the watchful gaze of sleazy boxing promotor Buddy Marcelle played by Russell Hornsby. This sets Victor on a collision course with Adonis Creed for the title belt and revenge.
‘Creed 2’ follows a very similar path to ‘Creed’ once again it is about growing up in the shadow of a famous father and wanting to avenge his father’s death. Creed has seen really very little growth since the first movie, retreading old ground and his story arc suffers for it. Rocky as a character is pushed further into the background - he is now the wisened old boxer giving life lessons to his protege even though he refuses to listen.
To me the most interesting story line was Ivan Drago’s who has fallen on hard times as result of his loss to Rocky Balboa many years before. Once his name was synonymous with power and prestige but now he is outcast, dishevelled and bitter forcing his son to walk in his fathers footsteps to regain what was lost and in the process rebuild both their lives. It is a far more interesting dynamic and a story I was more interesting in seeing.
That’s not to say that Adonis’ story isn’t engaging, it is, I just felt it replayed the same hits again as the first movie. As a result the movie wasn’t quite strong enough in that area. The secondary players were given very little to work with this time, Bianca played by Tessa Thompson is somewhat relegated to a bit part player who only appears when a musical interlude is required.
Usually one of the best parts of a Rocky movie is the training montage set to a blistering soundtrack they make you root for the main character and engage in an emotional sense as he overcomes adversity to rise to the top. With Creed 2 the training montage felt a little flat and subdued. It wasn’t quite as engaging as previous montages before it.
When the boxing match plays out between Drago and Creed it is suitably bombastic, filmed nicely and echoes the previous Rocky movies for intensity. The ending is a passing of the torch, where Rocky will slink into the shadows allowing Creed to tell his own story anew. Detailing clearly where the franchise is heading. Sylvester Stallone announced he is no longer playing the Rocky Character going forward. Creed will be left to his own devices but the question is whether Adonis Creed is an interesting enough character to hold an entire movie together on his own.
Overall the movie is enjoyable despite repeating itself then again I guess you don’t go into a Rocky or Creed movie expecting any different do you?