I know I'm a little late, but I have finally gotten to see Creed II.
I am a MASSIVE fan of the Rocky series and the first Creed film. There is something incredible about the way that such epic boxing movies can make audiences feel so empowered and ready to take on an army of angry boxers.
So let's talk about the most recent example of this effect. Creed II follows Adonis Creed as he takes on the son of Rocky's former competitor, Ivan Drago. This movie is definitely a fun new addition to the series and it adds even more heart to the character of Adonis. As his relationship grows and develops into a family of his own, Adonis faces a mental battle outside of the ring. I really like the way that their relationship matures and they come to make major decisions. I also feel that Rocky continued to play a very great mentoring role for the titular character.
Something that I believe deserves special recognition is the relationship between Ivan and his son Viktor. Unlike most of the franchise, this film developed the antagonists beyond an intimidating figure. It traced back to Rocky IV and showed the outcome of Ivan's loss. It took a formerly emotionless and robotic character to a more personal level. I would even say that this film makes the audience sympathetic toward the Drago family. This is a change that I am very happy to see in the series. However, this leads into the cons of the film.
Despite the development of the Dragos, the movie is still very formulaic. As somebody that loves to turn my brain off and enjoy these types of films, it is not as big of an issue, but it is certainly an issue nonetheless.
My next problem is that the film has two fights. Knowing this, It is fairly easy to predict each outcome. This problem is something that the first Rocky managed to handle incredibly well. That film was not about winning the big fight; it was about going the distance. This is a large reason why the Rocky series is so great. Unfortunately, Creed II did not escape this problem, making it feel VERY formulaic.
Despite these issues, I still had a lot of fun with the movie. It is by no means a critical masterpiece, but I would definitely suggest making popcorn and giving it a watch.
Overall, I give Creed II a 7.0/10