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  1. Published on: 07/02/2019 08:48 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: Still under the tutelage of Rocky Balboa, Adonis Creed faces off against the son of Ivan Drago.

    As mentioned in some posts in the past, I feel Boxing is one of the most restricted sub-genres in the filming industry. That phrase of "you've seen one, you've seen them all" feels quite apt. However, there are a few exceptions such as the first Rocky, Million Dollar Baby, Cinderella Man and The Fighter.

    Another one is Creed. The style of director Ryan Coogler for me is what made it quite a powerful viewing experience that for me gave us this generations Rocky. Sadly, Coogler is not taking part in the sequel and instead it's the relatively unknown Steven Caple Jnr. taking the reigns. So whilst I was mildly exciting to see it, I kind of expected to be disappointed as Coogler's style was a big reason for the success of the first Creed. Also, with it basically re-visiting Rocky IV, I did have some caution that it would just settle into the bog-standard Rocky formula.

    It starts off well as we get straight into the Boxing and it was nice Michael B. Jordan back in the ring. After that, we then get some nice set-ups and introductions to our characters as well as the sub-plots and character archs that were being explored in this sequel.
    While it moved along as I expected, the content on screen was making me care about the storylines from both the Creed and Drago characters and what both of them have had to go through to get to this point.
    I liked that they never relied on the history of Drago and Creed. The sub-plots were becoming more noticeable and this made me invest in the big set-pieces more than I expected. All of that made me excited enough to get into the final act and there were certainly moments in that ending that gave me goosebumps when everything fell into place.

    All the performances were pretty solid, but nothing awards-worthy this time in my opinion. Michael B. Jordan continues to have a very likable presence in anything he does and fits the mould of a boxer beautifully and proves to everyone that he was not just a one-off.
    It might not be the Oscar push for Sylvester Stallone this time, but I think it is still another memorable showing from the acting legend. This stage in Rocky Balboa's life I feel is still bringing the best out of Sly.
    Tessa Thompson was a great support and continues to have strong chemistry with Michael B. Jordan.
    I never thought I'd ever say this, but Dolph Lundgren was pretty good in this. I think it helped that I felt quite invested in his story arch in this film, how that ended and he also had a memorable scene with Stallone.
    I think Florian Munteanu was good with the physical side of his character, but not that much on the acting side of it sadly.

    Obviously one aspect that has to work is the actual Boxing, and that was all done well especially the big showdown at the end. I didn't feel it had a stand-out fighting moment like its predecessor had. But it went as well as you would expect with this type of film. I felt the punches and the blows, and caring for the characters helped with that as well.
    Another thing you expect with Rocky films, is a montage. There is one in this, and its pretty good. It does get you hyped for the match and the build-up certainly enhanced this particular part of the film pretty well.

    I had no major quarrels with the film except from a personal perspective. It does move along at how you expect to. So it therefore brought nothing new to the table and there were times where I was waiting for the next bit that I knew would happen.
    I was a bit disappointed with the score. The score did have those similar notes you feel in Rocky films, but the way it was used was more sombre than anything else. It does have its rompy moments in small doses including one during a well executed montage. But it was more about the use of a slow piano more than anything else. It does match with the themes of reflection and ancestry sins. But it wasn't really a score that I would re-visit.
    Also, the duration felt a bit too long for me. It's just over 2hrs long, and I think 1hr 50 would have been more suitable. There were scenes that felt a bit long-winded and I think having a predictable story structure did not help the situation.

    While it does hark back to some of the Rocky sequels and tread similar ground. There was enough content in there to make it feel somewhat refreshing and still give us a pretty solid story that I liked.
    I think the character development was what kept this from being just a cash grab of something we've seen before. I like where we were heading and still making the Boxing itself entertaining made it worth watching.
    I don't think this needs to have a third chapter to be honest. It ends with enough of a heartfelt note and I think if we do see a Creed III then I feel it's just going to go down the same route the Rocky franchise did.

    Rating: 7/10
    Last edited by Film Critic; 17/02/2019 at 08:39 PM.

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