‘Creed II’ hits hard at the heartstrings

Ty Davis

If everything about “Creed II” were to be evaluated on a 1-5 scale, the lowest score for any aspect of the film would be four.

 If it sounds like I am gushing over this film, you cannot begin to imagine. “Creed II” is easily in the top running for the film of the year, in addition to being one of the best entries in the “Rocky” franchise. The film does nothing new, but what it lacks in innovation it excels in pure quality of execution.

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“Creed II” features some of the best character writing in a very long time. Where the first “Creed” mainly focused on Adonis Creed’s (Michael B. Jordan) personal journey, this second outing remembers that the backbone of good boxing stories is not the matches themselves but the personal stories that surround the fights.

Each character this time is given enough depth, time and agency that each could theoretically be the star of the movie. Tessa Thompson is given a lot more time to express herself as Bianca, a stark contrast to the previous “Creed” in which Thompson played the usual love interest, typical of boxing movies. This time, Bianca’s character, career and thoughts are explored a lot more, adding to the dramatic tension of the film.

By this point, Sylvester Stallone embodies the Rocky character so much it becomes a genuine question whether or not he is actually acting. Thankfully, the film does not let him fall by the wayside and gives Rocky an unexpected, but still thematically relevant sub-plot that still manages to be emotionally striking by the end.

The incredible writing really comes through with Dolph Lundgren’s and Florian Munteanu’s Ivan and Viktor Drago as the thematic opposites to Adonis and Rocky. 

The Dragos’ story is given such a deep level of care and attention that you really can understand their anger and frustration, to the point that these characters evolve past the idea of being villains, into deeply broken people whose goals clash with the main characters. Their character arcs are incredibly well-written especially Lundgren’s, who is filled with many conflicting thoughts and goals. Munteanu, despite receiving one of the lower amounts of the films attention, manages to give an emotionally charged performance.

Should you watch it? Yes.

I do not have enough time to talk about all of the myriads of reasons why “Creed II is such an amazing film. While the plot might be predictable, make no mistake this is one of the most dramatically tense, heartfelt stories in recent years.

Ty Davis can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @tydavisACW