Boxing lives on

Philip Cu Unjieng - The Philippine Star
Boxing lives on
It’s the fictitious boxers like Adonis Creed (played by Michael B. Jordan) who keep the spirit of the sport alive

Film review: Creed II

MANILA, Philippines — Even if we call it Creed II, for all intents and purposes, it’s the second installment of the Second Coming of Rocky. When Ryan Coogler wrote and directed Creed in 2015, there wasn’t that much expectation; but thanks to his Fruitvale Station pedigree, Coogler surprised everyone with a hit film that carved out its own identity while still being respectful to the Rocky canon and utilized Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) in a winning manner.

That it catapulted Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed into bona fide star status was a bonus, and it led Coogler to direct a “small” film called Black Panther. As a result though, we don’t have Coogler directing Creed II, which falls into the hands of Stephen Caple Jr. And while the film is more than adequate as a stand-alone film, it doesn’t catch fire and surprise us the way Creed did. This one is a paint-by-numbers sequel, with a few surprises tucked inside, but hinging on the marquee attraction of son of Creed versus son of Drago.

It’s not a spoiler to mention how the second film’s main narrative strand has to do with Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), trained by his father Ivan (Dolph Lundgren), challenging Adonis for his title. Against the wishes of Rocky, Adonis cannot resist going up against the son of the man who killed his father in that unfortunate tragedy in the ring in 1985 (Rocky IV). That this bout occurs halfway through the film is the spoiler alert for how the second installment will play out.

Along the way, the narrative tries to flesh out the personality of Adonis, making him both a newlywed and a father. Tessa Thompson reprises her role as Bianca and gives needed texture to these sequences. The movie also shifts to being about faith in oneself, knowing how to pick up the pieces of your life and recognizing what is truly important as your roles in life expands to husband and father. But this is, after all, a Rocky franchise film, so you know how at some point, this will all take a backseat to the boxing.

Just wanted to observe how it’s funny that boxing lives on through films such as Creed, whereas in real life, the sport has been on the decline in terms of popularity. To prove my point, if you’re not a sportswriter, name me even just three of the current champions in different weight categories. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are probably the last boxers who enjoyed instant global recognition. Nowadays, it’s the fictitious boxers like Creed who keep the spirit of the sport alive.

When you take into consideration that the first Rocky film hit the screens in 1976, and that this 42-year-old film franchise has been counted down and out several times now, even if Creed II pales in comparison to Creed, you have to give the film high marks for fortitude and resurrection skills. And through Creed II, Jordan cements his status as a Hollywood star. As for 72-year-old Stallone, wearing the pork pie hat he used in that first Rocky film will never grow old.

vuukle comment




  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with