Warning Spoilers are going to be in this article review.
So this movie has been on my watchlist for the whole year and when the trailer dropped, I was ready to go reserve my seat at the movies. I went to see Creed 2 during Thanksgiving break twice in different theaters and the second time, the power went out right in the third act before the second fight is about to start. Thank god they gave us all free tickets to use to see the movie again once the power came back on. The first time I saw it with one of my friends and she had never seen Michael B. Jordan or the first Creed movie. When I tell you the thirst was real, I can't even go into detail.
If you haven't watched the first Creed movie or seen any of the Rocky movies, I'll give you a recap. Rocky was a boxer and his best friend, Apollo Creed, was killed in the ring by Ukraine boxer Ivan boxer. Adonis is Apollo's secret child who was born right after his death. Thirty years later, Adonis wants Rocky to train him to become a boxer and escape his father's shadow. Now in Creed 2, Adonis faces off with Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago, in a revenge-style match. Caught up to speed, cool. Now let's get into this review and the best parts of this movie.
1. This was more a "Creed" movie than a Rocky movieGiphy
The first Creed movie was more of a continuation of the Rocky movies. In this sequel, the story of Adonis Creed is the focus and Rocky is more of a supporting character but still brings the same heart and wisdom he has been giving for the last seven movies. Adonis is not only challenged in this movie professionally but also personally as he becomes a husband and a father while going into this fight and recovering from the aftermath of it.
2. The Dragos are actual villains with a score to settle.Giphy
The beef between the Dragos and the Creeds is real. Not only do we see them behind the scenes of these fights but also see what happened after Ivan Drago killed Apollo Creed and lost to Rocky Balboa. He lost the respect of his country of Russia, his wife left him, and he was basically exiled. He raised his son Viktor to be a fighter and was constantly putting pressure on him to be the best fighter in the world. Basically, he lives vicariously through his son and all that Viktor wants is to have the love and approval of his father. You actually start to feel sorry them throughout this movie even though they're the villains.
3. The Rocky and Adonis Father/Son RelationshipGiphy
The surrogate father-son relationship between Rocky and Adonis is powerful and a fan favorite between men and their own sons. We see there is a rift between them when Adonis takes the fight with Drago against Rocky's wishes. He refuses to train him in fear of him dying in the ring like his father Apollo. We see them later in the film have a heart to heart moment when Rocky takes a three-day train from Philly to Los Angelas, something he never does, to be there for his boy and becomes the godfather to Adonis's daughter.
4. Michael B Jordan gives an Oscar worthy performance.Giphy
Michael B. Jordan has been having the best year and he's closing out 2018 with his most iconic role to date. Adonis Creed is on top of the world but when he's challenged by Drago, he does a lot of self-exploration and evaluation of himself. He spotlights how the pressure of living up to the legacy of his father and having his own legacy he made on his own. We see him recovery physically and mentally after his first fight with Drago. He was motivated through anger and ego but when the second fight comes around, he's motivated by the people in his corner. His surrogate father, his mom, his fiance, they all in the ring with him during this fight.
5. Tessa Thompson is more than just the token boxer's girlfriend.Giphy
Tessa Thompson took more control over the role of Bianca this second go round. She looked to artists such as Jill Scott and Rihanna for inspiration for her character. Bianca isn't just another girlfriend on the sideline who complains why her man isn't at home with her. She rides or dies for her man and checks him when he goes off the deep end all while she has her own rising career as a singer. My favorite scene is when she sings one of her songs during Adonis's walk into the second fight. I was clapping and yelled "Wifey Goals" in the theater. We also see how her progressive hearing loss is taking a toll on not just her life but her relationship with Adonis and their new family. She has her own goals and ambitions that she wants to achieve and I loved seeing that.
6. Adonis and Bianca are Relationship Goals.Michael B Jordan Family GIF by Creed II - Find & Share on GIPHY Giphy
Having Black love in a mainstream movie just warms my heart. Michael and Tessa wanted to expand the story of their characters and give the audience a millennial love story. In the first movie, we see them have a meet-cute moment, an unofficial first date, they support each other through their personal struggles while they pursue their dreams. In the sequel, we see them get engaged, go through setbacks and come ups, all while expecting their first child. There were so many moments watching you think "this is the breaking point. Is she going to leave? He's gonna go off the deep end." But that isn't the case. They got each other's backs and by each other's side through the good times and bad as if they're already married.
7. Baby Creed gives you all the feelsGiphy
We all knew from the trailers that we were going to get a Baby Creed. The few scenes this baby has is still so important to the story and the characters. Baby Amara inherits her mother's progressive hearing loss and is born deaf. This is a gut punch to the heart to both her parents and the audience. We see Bianca be devastated and brave during her daughter's hearing test, having the immediate instinct to protect their daughter. Another great scene is when Adonis is trying to get the baby back to sleep in the gym and he breaks down and finally releases his emotions that he had been keeping in for so long. He finally holds his daughter and is able to soothe her to sleep, finally gaining the strength to fight again.
8. The training montages are phenomenalGiphy
The training montages Adonis endures in preparation for the 2nd fight is insane. Rocky takes him out to the desert where they basically call "The Gate To Hell". He tested to his limits and wants to give up but he keeps fighting and finds the determination. He goes from regular fighter to full-blown boxing machine.
9. The boxing scenes are epicGiphy
We get two main fights between Adonis and Viktor. We see Adonis be brutally pummeled by Drago with so many hits. Viktor loses due to being disqualified for hitting Adonis as he was on the ground. The second fight, Adonis is stronger and has a different motivation this 2nd round. He TKO's Viktor twice and ends up winning the fight and kept his championship title.
10. The meaning of family is the main plot.Michael B Jordan Baby GIF by Creed II - Find & Share on GIPHY Giphy
This whole movie has a central theme, family. You see father and son relationships, love for your children through generations, the love and support of your partner. It runs so deep in the movie and it wraps the whole movie in a perfect bow at the end where you see Adonis visit his father's grave for the first time and introduce him to his fiance and his daughter.