I left a screening of Creed II a couple of hours ago, and I had good time in the theater. I am a huge fan of the entire series, so I’ve been eagerly looking forward to watching this one.
The film didn’t disappoint! With the return of Ivan Drago, the emotional content and drama was piled high, but Creed II keeps the fighting spirit of the Rocky films. Retribution and redemption at the fore, which are two themes that makes the Rocky series great. I can’t front though. I was missing Ryan Coogler’s style. I would have loved to see him write and direct this one, but he couldn’t commit that time to the sequel, due to scheduling issues with his worldwide smash hit, Black Panther. Understandable, and I will give praise to Creed II’s director, Steven Caple Jr. For a director that doesn’t have a long list of titles under his belt, Caple’s direction works. It really brings out the feeling of the story. Solid performances from all the cast in their reprisals. They all work well together, which makes for a natural feel. The heartwarming scenes are touching. You like the characters, so you share it with them. The acting was great. I really appreciated the dedication that Jordan put into his training. He was bigger and faster than what he was in Creed. There were a couple of scenes that showcased how quick he is with his hands. I was impressed. It reminded me of seeing Roy Jones Jr’s old training videos. Stallone doesn’t play Rocky. He is Rocky. Nothing more to say there. Tessa Thompson has been in a few movies I’ve watched recently, and I enjoy seeing her perform. Florian Munteanu, who plays Viktor Drago, is a monster!! This guy’s upper body is bigger than my entire body! When he throws his punches….WOW!! It’s like he is hitting you. During the fights scenes plenty of people in the audience (including myself a couple of times) were saying “oooooooohhhhhhhh” over the blows he lands. You remember Rocky IV showcasing Ivan’s punching power. His son is no joke!
I had a group of family and friends with me, and they all liked Creed II as well. Lots of good callbacks to previous films of the series, and you learn some new information that adds depth to the story line. I really loved the scene where the Dragos showed up in the states. Pretty surreal moment. I know all the Rocky fans are going to see this, and it comes out today, so put that $5 Tuesday to use, if applicable. I am definitely seeing this again. I just saw that my local AMC is showing it in Dolby. A good time to bust out my A List subscription. Creed II may not blow you away, but go check it! The pacing is slower than Creed, but the story is enjoyable, and still packs a good punch. If you ever visit Philly, go to Max’s Steak. It’s a local eatery featured in both Creeds. I don’t live that far away, so I checked it out after seeing Creed. The food was delicious. Nice atmosphere and vibes in the bar area. I would definitely eat there again.