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Monday, November 26, 2018

Creed II 2018 * * Stars

Creed IIDirector: Steven Caple Jr.
Year: 2018
Rated PG-13
Rating: * * Stars
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson

Ivan Drago has an offspring. He snarls, bulges, and fights like bull. Ivan's son Viktor wants a piece of Adonis Creed because Creed just became the non-lavished WBC World Heavyweight Champion. On a side note, about thirty years ago Ivan killed Apollo Creed (the father of Adonis) in a Las Vegas exhibition bout. There's some sentimentality here, some wonted unrealistic fight sequences, some minimal build-up, and a mask of predictability (you're a step ahead of all the characters about twenty minutes in). That's the flax of the inevitably modernized Creed II. It's my latest review.

Related imageStarring creaky Sylvester Stallone, megastar Michael B. Jordan, and alley-like returnee Dolph Lundgren, Creed II is the eighth installment in the juggernaut Rocky film series. Stallone is reliable and likable just like in the first Creed and Lundgren is surprisingly good as stone-faced Captain Drago (he emotes a little more this time with molten screen presence). As far as Rocky follow-ups go, "II" is earnest and zealous but it feels as though the filmmakers are trying to milk the Rocky storyline to its proverbial bone. These movies tend to make money so I guess the cash cow keep a cometh.

Anyway, Creed II has a story arc that resembles Rocky's II, III, and IV. And because Balboa is no longer wearing the groves and Max Kellerman is now doing some annoying boxer commentating (Kellerman is no Stu Nahan), "II" lacks the power, heightened sincerity, and invigorating nature of those earlier Rocky pics. Oh and what's with the limp musical score of Creed II that's hastily provided by Ludwig Goransson. You listen and ask yourself, "where the heck is 76-year-old Bill Conti when you need him" (where are county fair rock gods Survivor as well. Natch).

Image result for creed 2 movie scenesAll in all, Creed II is directed by Cleveland, Ohio native Steven Caple Jr. Caple avoids adding too many stentorian fight sequences and instead opts for a dragged out situation drama that goes off into non-sparring tangents. He doesn't want "II" to be a popcorn-like, Tommy Gunn Rocky so I'll give him that much. Bottom line: There are hundreds of sequels that are worse than Creed II. That doesn't mean I'm gonna recommend it. "I must break it." Rating: 2 stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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