My review for Creed was glowing, and my love of the movie has only grown in the past three years. I’ve come to appreciate it in a big way, especially it’s place in a year that was full of movies pulling the same trick as it did, breathing new life into an old world, but doing it far better than all of them. (The Force Awakens goes the distance against it. It’s the Rocky to Creed’s Apollo, so to speak.) Add into that the fact that Creed II was going to be dealing with the aftermath of my childhood favorite movie in the series. (As an adult, I’ve grown to appreciate the original over IV, but man, as a kid, I loved Rocky IV.) and Creed II had sky high expectations from me.
It didn’t quite meet them. It lacks both the stylish zing and the emotional punch of it’s predecessor, and relies a bit too much on the weight of the series’ history for it’s emotion. While Dolph Lundgren puts in the heavy lifting as the broken but proud older Ivan Drago, and it’s a truly magnetic performance, it doesn’t lift the material the way Stallone’s performance did in Creed.
Speaking of Sly, he’s good here. He’s got less to do, but it’s all good. Phylicia Rashad and Tessa Thompson are also predictably wonderful, Thompson in particular makes Bianca a worthy successor to Adrian. (She even rocks a beret at one point!) Florian Munteau is menacing and heartbreaking as Viktor Drago, and gets one really great break out scene, where confronted by the mother who abandoned him, he refuses to play her game. Brigitte Neilson infuses her character with the same cool hatred that made her so awful and great in Rocky IV, even in her very brief screen time.
And that brings us to the main event right? Michael B. Jordan portray’s Adonis’s growth stunningly. He’s more confident, exacting and powerful. When he falls at the end of the second act, you feel his heartbreak and determination to come back.
But there’s just nothing in this movie that equals the highs of Creed. There are moments that are close. Adonis bringing his newborn daughter Amara to the gym when she can’t sleep, Ivan choosing his son’s safety and pride over glory in the end, Rocky showing up on Robert’s doorstep and meeting his grandson for the first time. (This Is Us has conditioned me so that I burst into tears the minute Milo Ventimiglia’s face came into frame.)
Overall, it’s a good flick, not great. But good enough. That’s something.
- The Incredibles 2
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- A Star Is Born
- Solo: A Star Wars Story
- Creed 2
- Deadpool 2
- Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!
- Ocean’s 8
- Infinity War
- Ant-Man And The Wasp
If Beale Street Could Talk: The book is the first thing on my “No straight white cis men” reading list, so I am very very much looking forward to this.
What Men Want: SIIGGH I feel like Taraji deserves better than this, but you know, she deserves better than everything after season 1 of Empire as well.
The Upside: Oooh, boy. Brian Cranston in a wheel chair. Kevin Hart trying to actually act. Nicole Kidman in glasses and bangs. This movie is going to SSSUUUUCCCKKKKK
Holmes And Watson: This trailer makes me laugh in spite of myself. I will likely see this come January.
Aquaman: Soon and very soon, we are going to see the king. Soon and very soon we are going to see the king…