Creed 2 movie keeps the franchise alive with yet another great installment that has us dive into the head of Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), the guy who is so successfully taking the legend of Rocky forward.
The movie packs in ample dramatic punches to showcase another story that breathes on what-ifs and whatever happened to the enemies of Rocky. That being said, it thrives on the same universe without losing sight of what it is really trying to achieve and that’s what’s its biggest strength is.
While from a distance it appears to be the same story repeated over and over again with new faces and lost stories, but up close you can experience every emotion as if you were a part of it all along, as if you had never left.
Rocky hangs around like one of those salient figures who dictates a story by being in or not in it. Even though he gets the least amount of time, he is leveraged to the maximum and he makes his presence felt for being the reason, the real fighter, who makes things happen.
Plot and Theme (Spoilers)
The storytelling in Creed 2 movie is powerful and intense but if you tack it against the first one, you realize it falls short on a lot of things. Let us take its content, to begin with.
What is the next course of action for Adonis once he is all nestled in? A proposal? Marriage? Kids? etc. So that’s how it goes here as well. The most predictable beginning, but then we have a face from the past showing up to shake him up. The son of a guy who had killed his father. How exciting! The mere thought of a vengeance brewing in the backdrop sets the plot’s meter to hysteria.
With Adonis being internally crushed by a challenge he could not say no to, and a family that he is willing to start a new life with, he finds himself in a torturous dilemma. With Rocky Balboa saying no to Adonis for taking up the fight, that if he did he would be on his own, Adonis feels himself clinging on to his remains in order to see it through.
Then the story becomes predictable like a thousand boxing movies that we have grown up watching where the protagonist becomes so full of himself that he loses sight for a while, ends up getting shot down, and then with the right support stands back on his feet again.
The Direction of Creed 2 Movie
Steven Caple Jr. is no Ryan Coogler but he does a great job trying to revive the superhero the latter had created so remarkably well in the first one. His direction is slow paced and good. He lets you enjoy a frame. The editing where Steven chooses to show the contrasting lives of Drago’s son Viktor (Florian Munteanu) and Adonis alternatively is simply superlative.
There is also one scene where Adonis is in the swimming pool trying to fight back despondency as his mum’s and wife’s talks go in the backdrop. It is as if he has been listening to their voices in his head. The voices fluctuate too, sounding different in the media of air and water.
Also, you cannot overlook how Steven did not let go of Bianca (Tessa Thompson) at all. It is her life that gets affected too. He leverages her to the maximum showing how troubled she ends up getting by being a painful witness to a man who gets buried with his fame by a tough opponent.
It is hard to revive a broken man who is not only broken by his body but his spirits too. He then layers such a man with familial love to help him revitalize.
Michael B. Jordan nails the role yet again making the character his own. The best parts where you see the actor in him brim alive are the parts where you see him emotionally totaled.
Emotions of Adonis remind you of Black Panther, of how unfair life had treated him in that story, as if that treatment prolongs in his very own movie universe.
In Creed 2 movie, he is powerful when he is broken and you could see him how well he enacts every frame that makes him sad. You empathize with this man so much that whenever he is down you feel his pain inside your guts.
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The Dragos bring in raw energy to the frames whenever they are around. Wrath, vengeance, and blood are written all over them. You could see the tension from far away brewing whenever the duo makes their appearances. They make their presence known by being rock solid tough like precarious villains breathing in your lives.
They make their way into the lives of Creed, like warriors announcing their arrival in the ring that feels like rightfully theirs. But then there is a subplot that Steven decides to belch in which attempts to win your sympathy. Viktor hating his mother to the guts for walking out the door on his father Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) is like a side plot that tries to show insight in his life too.
The only good news is that unlike his father, he doesn’t stop. He takes losing as a sport and not something that brings one’s whole life crashing down on him. A lesson that Ivan had failed to understand because of its painful repercussions in his life.
The Final Fight
The fight in the Creed 2 movie that we are fed in the end is a fair fight. An opponent like Viktor seems like a fair player trying to win over the protagonist with as much honesty as possible.
You cannot help but feel the vibes of how important winning is to these two different people. Despite all the vengeance and the bad blood, you do not see Viktor crossing a line. You cannot call him a villain exactly and with a dramatic backdrop shown tacked to his life which basically takes a cheap shot at your votes, you realize there is still a backstory to the making of this seemingly unbeatable guy.
Like in every match where there is a winner, the boxing brawl ends up too with one. Adonis comes out with flying colors, but it does make you feel bad for Viktor too just like it would have for every player who loses. They don’t really lose your respect, they earn it for giving their 100% in a sport that takes the best out of humans and pushes them to the edge.
Issues with Creed 2 Movie
A lot of things in the Creed 2 movie feel cliched as if were written like boxing movies generally are. Top Game – Falling – Revival. The training regime makes it further cliched even though the director goes for something different and out of the box. It remains what it is.
You cannot also ignore parts where boxing becomes too theatrical instead of being depicted in its most natural and unadulterated raw form. It definitely feels like a movie, and sometimes you can’t help but wonder why there aren’t generally things that make such movies stand out.
The Final Verdict
Overall Creed 2 movie is great since it hits you where it matters. A good boxing movie that justifies the franchise it has become a part of. It takes the story forward like a good franchise movie should do.