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Michael B. Jordan reprises his role as Adonis Johnson, son of Rocky’s foil and best friend, Apollo Creed. Adonis finds himself atop the fight game, only to be immediately confronted by the ghosts of his family’s past.
Acting – Top Notch
Michael B. Jordan might be the best actor to ever appear in the Rocky series. Despite his relatively young age, he has the charisma and depth to really elevate any role. In that sense, it’s much easier and believable for the audience to connect with Jordan’s Adonis “Creed” Johnson than Stallone’s Balboa. Rocky was the underdog cartoon character we loved to cheer for. Adonis is the flesh and blood character we love to cheer for. Stallone, on the other hand, has created a much more nuanced and loveable version of Rocky is his later years. Starting with the film Rocky Balboa, Stallone’s take on the aged champ, full of wisdom and regret, is fascinating and quite engaging. Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad reprise their roles as the strong women in Adonis’ life, who not only stand by him, but also shape and guide him. All that said, special shout out must go to Dolph Lundgren’s reprisal of the greatest of all Cold War villains; Ivan Drago. Not only does the 61-year-old still look dangerous, we get an interesting peak into the fallout of Drago’s shocking loss on himself and his family.
Pro – Homage Done Right
Somehow, Creed II is a really well-done sequel to a movie that came out 33 years ago and had three movies occur in between. It manages to avoid most of the pitfalls that could have easily befallen it. It’s serious, but not too serious. It mirrors parts and themes of Rocky IV but doesn’t feel like just a reskinning. It’s funny and even a bit corny, but not too much. The Drago stuff is especially great because “what happened to Goliath” is a compelling question to explore. That’s not to say that there isn’t some heavy-handed stuff in the film. A few moments are laugh out loud funny, but not in the way the movie intended them. That doesn’t really detract from the film though. After all, it’s the sequel to Rocky IV, not King Lear.
Pro – Fun
Creed II is just a whole lot of fun. It delivers on the promises of the Rocky franchise that the audience has come to expect and enjoy. The fight scenes are visceral and intense. Not only is the camera work great, but the head rattling sound effects the series is known for add to the drama. The soundtrack is a lot of fun, and gets the audience pumped up throughout the film. In that way, it’s the 2018 version of the 1985 one from Rocky IV. The film has tender moments, intense moments, light moments, and cheer-out-loud moments as well. It’s not masterpiece theater, but it’s a really well-done Rocky movie that fans of the series are sure to embrace and enjoy.
If you have ever enjoyed a single movie of the Rocky series, this is a must-see entry. I highly recommend running through snow banks and up concrete stairs to the Fridley Palms Theatre to check it out.

Full Service Westside