söndag 17 mars 2019

Creed 2

About 2 weeks ago i got the best news in a long time, on September 20th is the premiere date of Rambo 5. Really ? Yes, this is awsome. I realize that this might be the last time we see legendary actor Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, but that´s ok. I have followed Stallone´s career since i was a young boy, and i have a lot of his films on DVD and Blu Ray. I have no idea if Rambo 5 will be any good, since you can never be sure until you have seen the film. But i have a feeling that i will have a good time in the Cinema, since i really enjoyed Rambo 4 back in 2008. Sylvester Stallone have had an amazing career so far, and he have made some really great films in the past. I posted my 30th Anniversary movie review of Tango & Cash this week here on my movie review blog, so check it out if you like. Speaking of Stallone, if you would ask most fans of 80´s films, i guarantee that most people will say that one of the best classics of the 80´s is without a doubt Rocky 4. This sequel was a smash hit, but also inroduced one of the greatest Russian boxers of all time, Ivan Drago ( played fantastic by Swedish Icon Dolph Lundgren ). The fighting scenes between Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago is magical. Rough and violent, but this is supposed to be an epic battle. Rocky 4 is one of those movies you should have playing at your wedding. Why ? Because there is nothing more romantic than seeing Ivan Drago as the Russian war machine, hitting harder than anyone. All of all Rocky sequels that have been made, i have to say Rocky 5 was not very good, released in 1990. It is a sequel that tries to tell a very dramatic story about Rocky and his family issues, but never really capture you from the start. Luckily, Stallone fixed this with the really good sequel Rocky Balboa in 2006. Since Rocky was not going to fight anymore, it felt natural for him to become the trainer of Apollo Creed´s ( Carl Weathers ) son Adonis Creed ( really well played by actor Michael B. Jordan ). The film Creed was a very well made boxing drama, and made sure to keep the legacy of both Rocky Balboa, and especially Apollo Creed. Directed by Ryan Coogler ( who also directed Black Panther and the very good independent film Fruitville Station ) who found a great balance to tell a story about how hard life can be, and how to deal with your inner demons in the ring. When i Heard that a sequel was coming, bringin back legendary Russian fighter Ivan Drago, i was really pumped up. How would they connect this story from Rocky 4 into present day with Adonis Creed ? I was supposed to see this film in a Cinema, and that never happened unfortunately. So i got myself a Blu Ray copy instead, really excited to see what this sequel would offer. Is this a worthy sequel to the really good Creed movie, or is the Creed franchise ready to throw in the towel for good this time ?

Three years have passed since Adonis Creed ( Michael B. Jordan ) lost against the fighter " Pretty " Ricky Conlan ( Tony Bellew ). Adonis scores a string a victories, including winning the WBC World Heavyweight Championship against Danny " Stuntman " Wheeler ( Andre Ward ). Adonis proposes his girlfriend Bianca Taylor ( Tessa Thompson ) and she says yes. Bianca suggest that they should start a new Life in Los Angeles, so they can focus on a new chapter in Life that might not be as easy to do in Philadelphia. Adonis is not sure about this, since he have his roots in Philadelphia, especially with Rocky Balboa ( Sylvester Stallone ). Suddenly, out of nowhere, comes news of legendary Russian boxer Icon Ivan Drago ( Dolph Lundgren ) who have been training his son Victor Drago ( Florian " Big Nasty " Munteanu, to have him fight against Adonis. Rocky does not approve this, and do not want to train Adonis when he is approached about this. Adonis is upset and decide to move to Los Angeles with Bianca and still do the fight, to honor his dead father. The big night comes, and Adonis is ready to show the Drago family who is still the champion. But the fight does not go as planned, and Adonis is seriously beaten up. However, since Victor Drago break some rules, he can not get the title so Adonis keeps the title. Ivan Drago is furious, his son needs to get the title he lost almost 33 years ago. Rocky visit Adonis at the hospital, where you can tell there are a lot of personal issues between them after this fight. Adonis has to heal, Before getting back into the ring. But he has no intention of giving up, and he is especially ready to fight Victor again, one last time.

I really enjoyed the first Creed movie, and i am happy to say that this sequel does not feel like a failure. There are some differences with this sequel, since this is supposed to keep the legacy of legendary fighter Apollo Creed, and we are also introduced to Ivan Drago´s son Viktor Drago. Knowing that this is a fight between Adonis Creed and Victor Drago, is what makes this film special. Over 30 years later, we get to see these families still going up in the ring, trying to honor their family name. One of the details that i am especially interested in, is the story beween Ivan Drago and his son Victor. You can tell in especially one scene that they have a lot of personal issues, especially Victor who is angry at his mother Ludmilla Drago. I would love to see a film focusing about the Drago family, that would be very interesting to see. Let´s talk about the acting. It comes as no surprise that actor Michael B. Jordan knows how to deliver a strong performance as Adonis Creed, he makes sure of that in this sequel as well.  Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa is as always amazing, no one can make this character the way he does it. It is so great to see Dolph Lundgren back as Ivan Drago, and even if you don´t hear him a lot, you can tell he is in pain after his loss against Rocky back in 1985. I am especially surprised to see that actor Florian Munteanu as Victor Drago play his character so well. The scene where he let his emotions out towards his father Ivan, how he feels betrayed by his mother is touching. Actress Tessa Thompson is also one of the actors who deliver a performance you really appreciate, she feels so natural and give us a strong woman portrait as Bianca. Always lovely to see actress Phylicia Rashad return as Mary Anne Creed, she also does a great acting performance. Legendary actress Birgitte Nielsen does a short return as Victor´s mother Ludmilla, nice to see her back on the big screen again. One of the things i did notice while watching Creed 2, is that this film is more focused on family issues than last time. In the previous film, it was more about Adonis Creed finiding his own path, while this time it is more about family issues. And since we know there is a connection here to Rocky 4, the plot does feel emotional since we know there is a lot of history behind these families. Just to make things clear, this sequel is not as good as the first Creed film. I don´t think the dramatic tone of this film works as well as it did in Creed, but this film does work well as a sequel. Director Steven Caple Jr. ( who directed the drama The Land, respected by movie critics ) have managed to make a sequel that connects both Rocky 4 and the story to Adonis Creed in a powerful way. Creed 2 is a well made boxing drama that will most likely be appreciated by fans of the Rocky franchise, and might find a new audience as well. Something tells me this is not the last time we will see Adonis Creed in the ring. If this is true, then i am looking forward to see Michael B. Jordan back. Until then, check out Creed 2 on DVD or Blu Ray and experience a nostalgic trip that connects the future.

Rating: DDD

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