It's good to cheer on Michael B. Jordan again.
Earlier this year, the stark "Creed" hero of 2015 became the most crushing bad guy in "Black Panther." But the star has left the super villainy behind for the moment, and is back in the ring for "Creed II," a worthy successor to the original split of "Rocky."
If the sequel is a little less than its amazing predecessor, that's because, as Adonis Creed does in moments of doubt, the filmmakers are complicating things.
The other guy this time is Viktor Drago, son of Ivan (Dolph Lundgren), who killed Adonis' father, Apollo Creed, in the 1985 ring in "Rocky IV". Adonis (Jordan) is now the World Heavyweight Champion, but despite his success, he feels an annoying emptiness. When Viktor challenges him to a fight, Adonis sees the revenge of Dad's death as an opportunity to fill it.
Viktor is not a twig; is Mount Russian, a fierce fighter who mistreats opponents. Therefore, some talks will be needed from the point of Confucius Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) and a hell of a training montage to win.
It is a sensible and high-risk configuration for an Adonis Creed movie. But while original writer and director Ryan Coogler kept his story mythically simple, and his old-school filming style, new director Steven Caple Jr. and screenwriters Stallone and Juel Taylor tackle too much additional plot.
When Ivan confronts Rocky at the Adrian restaurant, he tells him: "Because of you, I lost everything: the country … Respect … Wife." Yes, the dragos have been banished to Ukraine because they can not set foot in Russia since the loss of Rocky, and Viktor's mother left the family embarrassed, Mom (Brigitte Nielsen), and her platinum blonde hair, will come back if he wins, but his motives and his part in this movie are stupid.
The relationship of Adonis with Bianca (Tessa Thompson), meanwhile, remains strong. He is planning to propose. A strange plot involves Bianca, who has become a relatively successful singer, and begins to lose her hearing. His artistic ambitions affect history little.
But Thompson offers a performance as sensitive and decisive as the last, and this time his chemistry with Jordan is even greater. Jordan continues to impress, navigating the emotional territory of the film better than Stallone. However, once the gloves are on, Jordan is a man-beast.
Not in vain, it is the incredible and worthy fights of Adonis and Viktor that give "Creed II" his blow.