‘Creed II’ tells an electrifying story of family and perseverance


Creed and Drago face off in the ring. image from imdb.com

“Creed II” blends the world of drama and sports in a way that feels natural and engaging. This film is packed with captivating performances, with Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed and Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa standing tall as champions.

The most impressive thing about “Creed II” is the perfect balance it achieves. It manages to capture the big fight feel of championship boxing matches while using the high production of film to make it feel even more visceral and personal. The action is backed up by Jordan and Stallone’s best dramatic work. While every character and relationship in this movie feels grounded and real, their scenes are the ones that will hit you in the gut the most.

The story of Apollo Creed’s son fighting for his family’s past and future is something that will hook someone, whether they’ve seen “Rocky IV” or not. The relationship between Ivan Drago and his son, Viktor, is a lot more fleshed out than expected. Losing to Rocky in the ’80s made Ivan lose everything and he’s placed the burden of redemption on his son. The rivalry between Creed and Drago is a deeply personal one, and the fact that Viktor is given his own reason to fight makes it even better.

The fight scenes in this movie are used to great effect. There aren’t a lot of fights shown, but each one is exciting to watch and effective at telling a story without dialogue. Getting thoughts and emotions across purely through body language isn’t easy and “Creed II” manages to do that. I should also mention that this movie has what is perhaps the greatest training montage of all time. I can already see the eventual YouTube video of it having tens of millions of views.

Adonis Creed has to deal with the idea of starting a family of his own and the pressure it can cause, as well as the support family can provide. He and Drago present two opposites of what that can do to someone in multiple scenes. It’s an interesting dynamic that I wasn’t expecting from this and it elevates the whole film from a sports flick to something more profound and meaningful.

Not since “Raging Bull” has there been a sports movie that transcends the label in such a way. If you’ve never seen a “Rocky” movie, or even if you’re not a fan of sports in general, there’s still plenty of reason to watch this. Every scene has a purpose and nothing is wasted. It does everything it sets out to do with flawless execution and it easily earns five stars.

Final Score: 5/5

Ulises Duenas can be reached at [email protected] or @OrionUlisesD on Twitter.