Creed II | Chicago Reader

Creed II

Battle fatigue sets in roughly halfway through this eighth installment of Sylvester Stallone's Rocky franchise, a sequel to the 2015 spin-off Creed. Although Rocky IV (1985) is the primary reference, tropes from almost every previous film in the series abound as Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) becomes the heavyweight boxing champion of the world, marries his sweetheart (Tessa Thompson), and becomes a dad. But he soon falls victim to debilitating self-doubt after being viciously beaten by Ukrainian behemoth Viktor Drago (Florian "Big Nasty" Munteanu), whose father Ivan (Dolph Lundgren) killed Adonis's father Apollo—coach Rocky's friend and rival—in the ring decades ago. Even though the match and rematch with Viktor are spectacularly choreographed, shot, and edited, the sequences in between detailing Adonis's domestic life and physical and emotional recovery temporarily shift the movie into neutral, where it coasts a little too long. Still, there's something deeply satisfying about the film's treatment of father-son relationships; it takes them seriously, assigning them due value, and makes the boxers, young and old, relatable as human beings rather than superhuman punching bags. Directed by Steven Caple Jr.; with Wood Harris, Russell Hornsby, and Phylicia Rashad.

Credits

Director:

  • Steven Caple Jr.

Cast:

  • Michael Jordan
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Tessa Thompson
  • Phylicia Rashad
  • Dolph Lundgren
  • Florian "Big Nasty" Munteanu
  • Russell Hornsby
  • Wood Harris
  • Milo Ventimiglia
  • Robbie Johns
  • Andre Ward
  • Brigitte Nielsen
  • Patrice "Boogey" Harris
  • Jacob "Stitch" Duran
  • Ana Gerena

Writers:

  • Cheo Hodari Coker
  • Juel Taylor
  • Ryan Coogler
  • Sascha Penn
  • Sylvester Stallone

Producers:

  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Kevin King-Templeton
  • Charles Winkler
  • William Chartoff
  • David Winkler
  • Irwin Winkler
  • Ryan Coogler
  • Michael Jordan
  • Guy Riedel

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