Creed II is an immersive knockout
I’m not a fan of boxing dramas. I’m more into football films like Remember the Titans really get me going. So given I hadn’t seen the first Creed, I was coming in as a bit of a blank slate to Creed II.
As a stand-alone film, one of its strengths is that it’s competent. And it does not function on the assumption that you must have seen the first film.
Creed II continues the story of Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) who has finally risen up to the pinnacle of boxing under of the tutelage of his “uncle” Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone).
Ready to take things to the next level with his girlfriend Bianca (Tessa Thompson), Creed doesn’t seem to be comfortable in his newfound glory, and an old foe comes back into his life and poses the biggest challenge yet.
Creed II felt authentic. Whether it’s the reaction Creed gets as he stops at his favourite diner with Bianca in tow, or the panoramic shots of Philadelphia,
there is something completely honest about the storytelling in the film.
The soundtrack, created by record producer and songwriter Mike Will Made-It, features some trap-inspired songs and seems to literally take its cues directly from the film, which for me is a plus.
It also doesn’t hurt that it’s quite a star-studded line-up.
The film features some stunning shots, from the underwater shadow-boxing that Creed does in preparation for one of his fights, to the POV slow-mo shots of the actual fight scenes.
They make the film far more immersive for the viewer.
There are also fun throwbacks to Rocky films that take place in Creed II – scenes that will be of particular interest to people who have, in the past, enjoyed
These include the remake of the scene where Creed proposes to Bianca; a similar scene takes place in one of the franchise films where Rocky
proposes to Adrian in a very similar way. There are many others peppered throughout the film and it’s a fun exercise to match it to the original scene.
The chemistry between the cast members – whether it’s between Stallone and Jordan or Thompson and Jordan – makes the film all the more believable.
The battles that Creed goes through – such as his struggle with his identity, his new role as a father and husband, and allowing himself to mourn the father he’s never quite known – gives the film that bit of meat that separates it from what an all blood and all-fight with sprinkles of hyper-masculinity sport film
can sometimes boil down to.