We’re finally at December and hasn’t it been a great year? (While overlooking all the tragic and bad stuff, that is.) But anyway, it’s the Christmas month where everything is all jolly and cheerful and nothing is more cheerful than watching two brick houses punching each other in the face.
Creed II came out almost a week ago for me and I feel very mixed about it. I don’t think it’s a great movie but I do think it’s a great Rocky sequel. I know it’s not a Rocky sequel but its better at being a Rocky sequel than a Creed sequel. I guess I should explain.
Recap: So Creed II pretty much goes where fan speculation would have it go. Remember in Rocky IV where Apollo Creed stupidly puts himself in danger by fighting someone two times bigger than him and then dies because of it? Well what if you get Apollo Creed’s kid and you make him fight Ivan Drago’s kid, it’ll be the ultimate fan dream fight! Rocky will go ‘hey don’t do that because your father died that way, do you want to repeat history?’ and Adonis will go ‘Yeah whatever, I got a rep to protect and it’s like my destiny and stuff.’ Bianca would complain too like Adrian did in Rocky IV. Oh wait, she actually doesn’t, she just goes ‘Ehh, you can get yourself killed if you like, I’ll just spit on your grave and move on with my life.’ Then Drago Jr has to say ‘I Must Break You.’ Then they fight and the movie will make as much money as Rocky IV.
But the actual movie is pretty much a combination of the all the other Rocky movies. I guess the first Creed movie is kind of similar to Rocky I but it’s got a lot of original material so it’s not a complete rehash. Creed II has some elements from Rocky II where Adonis is dealing with being famous and moving into a much more serious relationship with Bianca, Rocky III where some guy wants to challenge Adonis after just becoming world champion, he loses then has to train again to re-earn his title, Rocky IV because of the terrible defeat to Drago then having to go to Russia for a rematch and maybe also Rocky V and Rocky Balboa with Rocky’s issues with his son. Plus the training montage that is obviously in all of them.
This isn’t really a bad thing because, if you look carefully, you’ll notice that alot of your favourite franchises are constantly ripping off themselves. But comparing it to the first Creed, Creed II doesn’t have that much originality besides making Ivan Drago a human man instead of a robot man. Also it’s a much more serious version of Rocky III/Rocky IV.
A Tale of Two Movies: This may be just me; but it was right after the first act where I felt like I was watching two movies. So it’s kind of like we saw Creed II and Creed III mashed up together.
So Creed II I envision has Adonis Creed going up against the guy that took his mustang in the first movie, aka the current world heavyweight champion. Meanwhile Adonis is finally getting some attention. He proposes to Bianca and she’ll probably give birth in the same movie. Rocky will be there thinking about his son and might even try to talk to him. So it’ll basically be the same as Rocky II. Then at the very end have Ivan Drago show up at Rocky’s restaurant demanding Adonis fight his son.
Creed III will show off Ivan Drago’s beefy son knocking out guys in one punch. Adonis will see it as a chance to get some payback for his father’s death. Rocky begs him not to get involved, praying to not repeat history. It’ll be like an epic finale to this trilogy as Adonis is taken to the breaking point and it’ll nicely wrap up everyone’s stories and it’ll be the closing chapter of the Adonis Creed story.
I felt that way for the whole movie especially in the middle with Adonis getting over his injuries and Bianca having her baby, while in the background being reminded that Viktor Drago is still out there and Adonis’s title is in jeopardy. I’m not really a fan of Rocky IV but at least in that movie Ivan Drago always remained a dominant threat. It just felt like they could’ve made two more movies out of this but they really wanted to get to Drago right away instead of biding their time.
Flying High: While being the most predictable movie of this year, it’s one of the few movies I’ve seen this year to get me emotionally invested in the story and the characters which is definitely the strongest part about this movie. Michael B Jordan once again does an excellent job as Adonis Creed as he’s one of the few main characters I have seen that has a proper arc. He makes a mistake and he learns from it in the end while also becoming a better friend, husband and student. Sylvester Stallone as Rocky gives another great performance – it makes me grateful that he still appears in these movies as he always feels like the heart of these movies. Tessa Thompson as Bianca is excellent. I liked all her scenes with Adonis – they have great chemistry again, though whenever they focus on just her I didn’t really care as her story wasn’t ever developed.
I was uncertain as to what they were going to do with Ivan Drago since the last time we saw him he played the big cheesy evil Russian robot man. But they surprised me to the point of making me actually care about Drago as he is considered a failure in his country and his son is his last hope of regaining his glory days. I was very impressed with what they did with this character and even his son who towards the end I also kind of cared about. Dolph Lundgren gave a pretty good performance and he played a great sympathetic antagonist for this film.
To the actual story the first act reminded me alot of Rocky IV. (Trust me that isn’t a good sign!) But after that it got progressively better. The clichéd underdog story worked really well as the final act was really awesome. Next to Widows (not to brag but I highly recommend it) it probably has the best ending of this year. Just like its predecessor it is incredibly well shot, the music really fits with what’s going on, it’s grounded in reality and the characters feel like real people. The fights are always the highlights of these films. For the most part they’re really good, especially the last fight because by that point I was on the edge of my seat as the stakes were very high. (Immersion can blind the predictability of it, I know!)
Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this movie as a continuation and as a fan of the Rocky franchise. If I wasn’t a fan I’d probably see it as just another predictable boxing movie with a good story in the middle. I give it a 7 or 8/10. I may be a bit biased but it’s definitely somewhere around there. If you’re a fan of the Rocky Franchise then I highly recommend it or if you think this movie interests you then I recommend at least a few watches as it’s definitely worth your money.
- Its Christmas time and The Blog Complainer has a lot of blogs to release between now and Christmas so here is my schedule.
- There are a lot of movies coming out since the Christmas holidays are just around the corner so I’ll try and see as many as I can. (Not saying which because it’s a surprise.)
- I’m going to try and finish the DC before Aquaman comes out. So my Wonder Woman review should be out in the next few days and hopefully Justice League will be out sometime next week.
- The Simpsons Season 7 will probably be released next week too.
- I have decided since there will be too much to do in one month the Watchathon is getting the flick for this month, but not for good.
- I’m replacing it with a set of christmasie movies that I want to talk about.
- Then probably just some other stuff in between, maybe a discussion thing or Anti might come back or a random thing that I come up with on short notice.
That’s it for this review. Comments and likes would be appreciated because I like interacting with you all and Until Next Time, The BC, Out.