Movie Title: Creed II
Director: Steven Caple Jr.
Writer: Juel Taylor, Sylvester Stallone
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Phylicia Rashad, Dolph Lundgren, Florian Munteanu, Russell Hornsby
Review: In 1985, Russian boxer Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) killed former U.S. champion Apollo Creed in a tragic match that stunned the world. Against the wishes of trainer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), Apollo's son Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) accepts a challenge from Drago's son, Viktor (Florian Munteanu) -- another dangerous fighter. Under guidance from Rocky, Adonis trains for the showdown of his life -- a date with destiny that soon becomes his obsession. Now, Creed and Balboa must confront their shared legacy as the past comes back to haunt each man. Creed II is the stellar sequel to the wildly successful Creed. The first film in this new subset of the infamous Rocky series was fantastic, and a tough act to follow, but everything about Creed II was perfect.
Michael B. Jordan is fantastic once again as Adonis Creed, struggling to find his true motivations behind wanting to take on Viktor Drago. Florian Munteanu's portrayal of Viktor somehow manages to be just as menacing as Dolph Lundgren's portrayal of Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. I also really enjoy Rocky films that focus on the human element more so than the fighting aspect. This movie excelled in both areas as there are a lot of human emotions running wild in this one. Adonis becoming a father himself while digging up his own father's legacy and death, Rocky dealing with the absence of his son in his life, as well as Ivan Drago's shameful exile to the Ukraine; there's a lot of heart to this film. The fight scenes are also spectacularly shot, some portions of which are shot first person through the eyes of Adonis. This movie was extremely well done, and seeing it in the theater made it all the more exciting as the moviegoers cheered and gasped with every punch. I absolutely recommend this film!
Fun Fact: Just like Rocky IV (1985), none of the prominent Russian characters are played by Russian actors. Dolph Lundgren is Swedish, Florian Munteanu is German-Romanian, and Brigitte Nielsen is Danish.