In the annals of potentially disastrous splits, "Creed" surely remains a champion of all time. Directed with sensitivity and sensitivity by Ryan Coogler, who became famous for making the blockbuster "Black Panther", the 2015 drama had it all: a classic boxing storyline, a strong emotional core, a rich and deep atmosphere heartfelt and a surprisingly good cast directed by Michael B. Jordan.
Creed II is a respectable, if not revealing, sequel to the sequel, even if it lacks the grace and narrative texture of its predecessor. In this installment, Adonis Creed, of Jordan, is the current heavyweight world champion and is preparing to propose to Bianca (Tessa Thompson), the beautiful neo-soul singer with whom he lives in Philadelphia. Still tormented by the absence of his father Apollo, who was met with his death at the merciless hands of Ivan ("I will break you") Drago in "Rocky IV", Adonis barely has time to recover from his fight for the championship when he is challenged by Ivan son Viktor (Florian Munteanu), a party of rancor that possesses all the mythical harmonics suggested by the surnames of the Creed family.
"Everything feels so Shakespeare," says a fight announcer at one point, and "Creed II," which was directed by Steven Caple Jr. from a script by Sylvester Stallone and Juel Taylor, relies heavily on the more The dimensions of the life of Adonis struggle, even when much attention is paid to the subtleties at stake in his domestic life. Taking the protagonists from Philadelphia to Los Angeles and finally to Moscow, "Creed II" juxtaposes action sequences of blows with tender scenes between Adonis and the whispered voice of Bianca, as well as with her discreetly perceptive mother, played in a charming and discreet show by Phylicia Rashad. His trainer, Rocky Balboa, played by Stallone in a twist of sad, drunken eyes that somehow is modest and self-serving at the same time, continues to visit the tomb of his late wife, delivering sermons to his protege about his courage. and for what it really is worth fighting.
Because Rocky still blames himself for the death of Apollo, and because Viktor has become a drifter under the tutelage of his own father Ivan (Dolph Lundgren with a still undamaged frown), Creed II is impregnated of a dramatic father-son drama, as well as regrets, recriminations, fierce words of struggle and grim determination to vindicate the errors of the past, both real and perceived. The film sinks under the weight of everything, with the snotty speeches of Stallone taking a repetitive lugubrious and the machinations of the plot configuring Adonis as an increasingly painful loser.
However, "Creed II" recovers considerably in the third act, its clearly efficient fight and training sequences are combined with a large number of callbacks, hat caps and surprise comebacks to create an exciting and totally enjoyable ending. (In an echo of "Rocky IV", Adonis trains for the great old-style Russian fight, with tractor-driven hammers and tires, while Viktor seems to be training in a Hozier video). The connoisseurs could miss the skillful work of the camera of the filmmaker "Creed" Maryse Alberti, as well as the careful calibration of the feelings and the tone of Coogler. But Caple fortunately retains the most important element of the film, which is a wonderful cast: Jordan, Thompson, Rashad and Stallone still express the calm and confident chemistry that characterized their first outing together. Jordan is especially impressive as a character whose toughest fight is the embrace of maturity, with all the commitments and responsibilities involved. In this world, it is the boxer's inner life, instead of brute force, that proves man's measure. "Creed II" can not take the franchise to a new and exciting territory, but it has ensured that it continues to live, bloodied but without compromise.