Adonis and Rocky team up for another fight in Creed II


Michael B. Jordan’s performance in Creed left fans anxiously wanting more. Needless to say, they were not disappointed when Creed II hit the theaters on November 21, 2018. He is shown here suited up and ready for his next boxing match.

Ben Rotko, Staff Writer

Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone star in the sequel to the Rocky spin-off Creed II. This film fights back harder and stronger than ever before, and though it sticks to its usual franchise formula, this time it comes with bigger stakes and a bigger threat. If you’re familiar with the Rocky franchise, this movie will definitely be exciting for you.

Creed comes from the original storylines from Rocky and Rocky II.  However, for this particular sequel, Rocky IV becomes the film of importance.  The important plot points from Rocky IV are all explained in Creed II, so there’s no need to watch that film before seeing this one.

In Rocky IV, Apollo Creed, father to Adonis Creed, played by Michael B. Jordan, is a main character.  Apollo Creed was killed in the ring by Russian boxer Ivan Drago, played by Dolph Lundgren.  

In Creed II, Donnie is challenged by Ivan Drago’s son, Viktor Drago, played by Florian Munteanu. However, due to what happened three decades ago, Adonis’s trainer, Rocky Balboa, refuses to train Creed because he is afraid of history repeating itself. 

And so, we have our setup; Adonis travels to Los Angeles to train with Tony “Little Duke” Evans, played by Wood Harris. 

While preparing for the birth of his child fiancée Bianca Taylor, played by Tessa Thompson, Adonis Creed trains for this fight with Drago.  

Additional stars include Phylicia Rashad as Adonis’s stepmother Mary Anne, Andre Ward as the heavyweight champion Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler, and Russell Hornsby as Buddy Marcelle 

Steven Caple Jr. takes over for Ryan Coogler in the director’s chair with a screenplay by Juel Taylor and Sylvester Stallone.

Creed II was amazing! I really enjoyed the spectacular acting of Michael B. Jordan, he is one of my favorites,” said sophomore Remi Haas.

The acting of Michael B. Jordan will be thoroughly enjoyed by all who watch it.  Beginning with Black Panther and ending with Creed II, Michael B. Jordan has had an incredible year. 

When Adonis and Rocky are separated, the audience is able to see how important they are to each other.  If Creed’s main theme was legacy, then Creed II takes it a step further by focusing on fatherhood. 

Fatherhood is explored in depth throughout the entire film. Bianca is pregnant with Adonis’s daughter, and Donnie is worried about her inheriting her mother’s hearing loss. Rocky longs to speak to his son, but lacks the courage to do so. 

The scene of Adonis taking care of his infant daughter was somewhat hard to watch, but Jordan presented the internal struggles of a man who wants to be a father, but may not be cut out for it.  Then again, many parents in real life aren’t really qualified to be a parent at first either.

The Drago family is arguably one of the best parts of this whole movie.  Likewise, Florian Munteanu might be the unsung hero of this movie. 

Though this actor doesn’t speak much, he is able to portray so much simply through his facial expressions and body language. All of his anger, resentment, and desire to redeem his family, on top of his complicated relationship to his father, are demonstrated through his actions. 

Adonis’s character arc in the entire Creed saga is about living up to his father’s legacy, similar to how Viktor’s is about redeeming his father’s legacy. 

In the film, it is explained that after his loss to Rocky, Ivan was disgraced. He lost everything: his country, his pride, even his wife. 

There’s a scene where the Drago family is at a dinner with a bunch of Russian bigwigs, and Viktor asks Ivan why they are celebrating with the same people that ostracized them. It is a complicated relationship, and the conclusion to the Drago father-son ordeal nearly brought viewers to tears. 

“This movie is amazing, but just wait until you hear the soundtrack!” said sophomore Sari Hartstien. 

Special mention must be paid to the soundtrack and score.  Ludwig Göransson returns to score the film.  Similar to Michael B. Jordan, he also was previously successful in Black Panther. 

Göransson’s theme music for Adonis is iconic, as it was the first time around.  Göransson’s experience working with hip-hop artists like Childish Gambino allowed for his ability to seamlessly blend orchestral elements with hip-hop beats and rap vocals. 

An iconic moment in Creed was when the original Rocky theme kicked in for the final round.  This is used again in Creed II in a different way; this time less epic, yet more triumphant. 

With all of this in mind, fans are having a difficult job chasing a favorite between Creed and Creed II. 

Creed II was given an 83 percent score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Some believe that this is because Creed II contains better training montages that its predecessor. 

In addition, Creed II has a few visceral moments where the camera takes on one of the fighters’ points of view, and we see the punches in a first-person perspective. 

Although it is difficult to determine which of the Creed sequels is the best, there is one thing for certain: Creed II will certainly be enjoyable for lovers of the classic film, Rocky.