CREED II – Same Same But Different

CREED II is the 8th film in the Rocky franchise if I am correct, please correct if I am wrong. It is the sequel to CREED starring Michael B. Jordan (insert swoon) and it also stars the man himself, Sylvester Stallone, as Rocky, his tiring trainer and father-figure. It is also a somewhat sequel to Rocky IV that released 33yrs ago yesterday starring the iconic Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago. CREED II is released from Warner Bros/ Roadshow Films, it is rated M and runs for 130mins.


Creed II Michael B Jordan and Sylvester Stallone image
Michael B Jordan and Sylvester Stallone




I am pretty sure if we just insert the synopsis for ROCKY 1, 2, 3 and 4 here it will fit the bill.

Under the tutelage of Rocky Balboa (Sly), light heavyweight contender Adonis Creed (MIchael B) faces off against Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), son of Ivan Drago (Dolph), the man who killed his father, Apollo Creed. He fights him arrogantly, loses, feels sorry for himself, Rocky steps in and trains him old school, cue Rocky music, the rematch ensues. People cheer in their seats.

The story has been told before multiple times – BUT IT STILL WORKS.


Creed II Sylvester Stallone, Michael B Jordan and Tessa Thompson image
Sylvester Stallone, Michael B Jordan and Tessa Thompson



CREED II literally adds nothing new to the franchise. It rehashes the same storylines, old characters and old issues. But it does it bloody well. I loved this movie, and not just because I got to stare at Michael B. Jordan looking hotter than ever. The story is solid, it has a lot of familiarity making it a good comfort movie and it is filled with what made Rocky movies so successful, abundance of heart. Adonis has as much heart as Rocky did in the earlier franchise films and the combination and fatherly relationship with Rocky is superb. You can see the pain and the love all over Sly’s delivery as he has been there before.

The first CREED was directed by Ryan Coogler, who is mostly responsible for introducing Michael B Jordan to the world in FRUITVALE STATION (awesome movie), but he has moved on and his life is now all BLACK PANTHER, also co-starring Michael B. Steven Caple Jr. steps in and continues the legacy with much success. He delivers a boxing movie that is ALL ABOUT Fathers and Sons. Apollo and Adonis, Rocky and Adonis, Rocky and Robert and Logan, Viktor and Ivan, Adonis and (pending Bubba), and to some extent Adonis and his mum, in Apollo’s absence. It is strong, it is heartwarming and the Ivan/ Viktor story was a powerful inclusion into the CREED/ ROCKY timeline.

Bringing the entire Russian Drago element back to the fore was a stroke of genius. Seeing what became of Ivan and his crazy Red Sonja wife played by the always striking Brigitte Nielsen, had the audience cheering. The film will be much more special for an audience that grew up with the ROCKY movies.


Creed II Dolph Lundgren and Florian Munteanu image
Dolph Lundgren and Florian Munteanu




They could have just made a movie of Michael B. Jordan working out with cool music and this thing would sell tickets. CREED II, if nothing else, solidifies Jordan as an A-Lister and someone who will get his pick of movies from now on. His ability to bulk and look like his Greek God namesake with a huge amount of heart is one of the major successes of this franchise. Adonis was the god of beauty and desire and ladies and gay gents will agree with me, the name is fitting.

Stallone has become his trainers from the ROCKY franchise, the older and much wiser father figures who have been there and done it all before. Sly announced yesterday that he has finished playing Rocky and while sad to see him go it was a fitting end and a brilliant character over Stallone’s career.

Dolph Lundgren has never been a great actor, never someone I sought out on film but his reemergence to the CREED/ ROCKY universe is something I never knew I needed, I absolutely loved his performance. It finally gave a third dimension to the character. His son in the movie, Viktor Drago was also a great tank-like punch machine that would scare anyone who stepped into the ring.


Tessa Thompson as Adonis’ partner, Bianca, has been a wonderful grounding over the two movies. But the scene where she walks out next to Adonis for his fight while singing made me cringe at the abundant cheesiness. We didn’t need that scene.

Another character that blew me away was Adonis’ mum, portrayed by Phylicia Rashad of THE COSBY SHOW fame. I always loved her motherly nature and even though Mary Anne Creed has been played by three actors over the franchise’s life Rashad felt like she had played them in all the movies, she appeared as part of the reunion of old school.


Creed II Sylvester Stallone and Michael B Jordan image
Sylvester Stallone and Michael B Jordan



While CREED II is pastiche ROCKY with nothing new to add to the story it is a film you need to see. It adheres to a fundamental guideline of successful filmmaking, TELL A GOOD STORY. Once you do that, everything else falls into place. I do think the CREED franchise should end on this movie however, with nothing new added there is little place else to go besides repeating history.





 owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the  industry for 26yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.