I got to get this off my chest before digging deep into this knockout gem, the same chest that carries my heart which both trembled with all sorts of emotions as I was watching CREED II. This was truly a gut-wrenching emotional rollercoaster of a movie.
Michael B. Jordan returns as Adonis Creed at the height of his boxing career, coached by none other than Rocky himself, defending his heavy weight championship title. While all is good life in Creed’s world a storm is brewing in Ukraine where we meet up with Ivan Drago pushing and bullying his son Victor into training to not only steal the precious title that slipped from his father’s hands but also to turn Creed’s life upside down along the way. Not only do things turn upside down but they go in so many unexpected ways. This is a movie of sheer unexpectations, one after the other, from Rocky’s reaction to Creed wanting to fight Drago, Creed’s honest intentions towards his girlfriend, to his confrontation with Drago, every time the movie goes one place, something unexpected happens and this reflects the true script craftsmanship that shaped this beautiful story. Speaking of screenplay, I cannot but mention the smart parallelism in plot structure in scenes like Ivan Drago’s meeting with Rocky intercut with Creed learning of Victor’s challenge for his title, and the scene where the injured Creed is getting back into shape in the pool intercut with the scene of his mom and his girlfriend discussing his troubled state of mind and the sensational thing about these two scenes is how every time Adonis goes under water, the sound of his mom’s voice from that conversation is distorted from, giving the impression of how he would hear it underwater, and I think there is a baby-in-womb imagery right there with the use of water and the sound of his mom’s voice, as if he is listening to her, a concept of his rebirth on the way.
Strong direction, cinematography, and an outstanding score that lends so many nods to the old Rocky movies, music wise and story wise, in addition to the modern hip hop and soul tracks that carry with their beats a sense of power, invigoration, and inspiration.
I think in this sequel the performances are on a higher and more intense emotional note by every single actor and actress, Stallone was truly mesmerizing also this time around and deserves an awarding performance respect, maybe even more than in Creed part one. I felt his presence not to be for the sheer use of his coaching skills but also for his inspiring words of wisdom and his social relationship to Adonis Creed and this leads me to say that this movie is not really about who is better, Creed or Drago, not about Adonis being the good guy and the Drago’s being the villains, where the story carries a lot of wit in making us see the circumstance of both sides, but this is a story about the power of the heart and the will of the strong. “it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you get hit and you keep moving forward, how much you can take, and keep moving forward, that’s how winning is done”, that’s what Rocky said to his on in Rocky IV and this is what this movie is all about.