Creed 2 is a winner! It packs a knock-out punch in the drama category and strikes the emotions like the ringing of a bell. It’s all heart for sure. In this follow-up film to the first Creed movie, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) takes on a fighter named Wheeler for the championship. He puts him away, but it’s a short-lived victory when a promoter goes on TV to try to set up a fight between Creed and the son of the man, Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), who killed Creed’s father. Drago’s son is a mountain of a man named Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), who has been destroying other fighters, and now Creed is confronted with a choice: does he take on the son of the man who killed his father, Apollo Creed, in the ring, or does he let the past go? When Rocky refuses to be a part of it, Creed is on his own. How will he fare without Rocky in his corner?
With rippling muscles and huge biceps, Viktor Drago is a force to be reckoned with, as was his father Ivan before him. One of the nice things about this film is it has substance—dramatic scenes that take place between the fight sequences. In one memorable scene, Ivan shows up at Rocky’s restaurant to tell him that his life was never the same after his loss to Rocky in their fight following Apollo Creed’s death. Drago tells Rocky that Russia forsook him and so did his wife, who left him. “It was like a million years ago” says Rocky, regarding their fight. “It’s like it was yesterday,” Drago replies. Other dramatic subplots include Bianca having a child and the concern she and Creed share about the child being able to hear. Rocky and his son haven’t been in touch for a long time and Adonis helps Rocky with some sound advice.
This movie is so big in scope that we get not just one fight between Drago and Creed, but two. And Stallone really turns in a wonderful performance, acting as mentor and sage to Adonis Creed. In one scene, Adonis is going to propose to Bianca but doesn’t know what to say. “Turn off your brain and let your heart do the talking” Rocky advises him.The chemistry between Stallone and Jordan is genuine, and they work nicely together on screen. The film has a lot to offer all viewers, particularly fathers and sons. In one scene, Adonis confesses, “I was afraid. I was scared I couldn’t do what he (his father) did.”
The film finishes with a terrific ending by wrapping up stories for both Creed and Drago—and you can be sure that Rocky plays a big part in it. It is a stirring and emotional ride. For those who have seen Rocky 4, it will be particularly enjoyable. There is some mild language used here and there. But the positives of this film definitely outweigh any negative content issue. It is clear that the movie is about fighting back when life knocks you down and the importance of the people in your cheering section, namely your family. It has earned the Dove Seal for Ages 12+.