‘Creed 2’ review: An outstanding continuation of the ‘Rocky’ franchise

With a unique plotline and the introduction of new characters, this sequel surpassed the original


Creed 2 movie poster. Photo taken without permission from IMBD.

Anish Vasudevan

After “Creed 1” hit theatres in 2015 and soared through the box office ratings, racking up over $170 million in earnings, a sequel was apparent. As the fifth installment of the “Rocky” franchise, “Creed 2” was much anticipated, straying from being a simple boxing movie.

Like the Star Wars or Harry Potter franchises, newer movies like “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” are tailored to specific fanbases to give the audience a nostalgic experience, bringing back some of the plotlines and characters they previously fell in love with.

The creators of “Creed 2” decided to connect the movie back to “Rocky IV,” a 1985 movie that features Russian fighter Ivan Drago killing Creed’s father, Apollo Creed, in a fight which Rocky had turned down. After witnessing the death of his friend, Rocky trained harder and fought Ivan Drago, eventually defeating him in honor of Apollo.

In “Creed 2,” Adonis Creed, played by Michael B. Jordan, faces off against Ivan Drago’s son, Viktor Drago, in order to avenge his father. However, unlike other franchises, the movie is able to break that nostalgic mold and develop new characters instead of solely sticking to the original plotline.

By doing this, “Creed 2” forced Jordan to play a more emotional role as opposed to an athletic one. Throughout the movie, Jordan contrasts the emotional conflicts that Creed goes through with events happening in and out of the ring. This is shown in scenes where Jordan is bawling, showing the humane side of a fighter trying to get revenge for his father’s death.     

Above all, this movie is truly a story about family. Creed and his girlfriend Bianca, played by Tessa Thompson, have a baby and are faced with hardships when they find out that Bianca’s partial deafness is hereditary. The movie also dives into Ivan Drago’s life after the fight and how he was considered an embarrassment to his country for losing to Rocky in “Rocky IV.”

The only dull part of the movie was that it continued to focus a lot on Rocky, played by Sylvester Stallone. The scenes that depicted Rocky alone were likely meant to be another nostalgic aspect for the audience, but the focus should have stayed on Creed and his journey.

However, one way the movie made up for some of its flaws was with a star-studded soundtrack produced by world renowned producer Mike Will Made it. Similar to “Black Panther,” this movie featured popular artists, such as Pharrell Williams, Nicki Minaj and J. Cole. The music made fighting and training scenes more enjoyable with the upbeat tempo in the background. The soundtrack itself is a masterpiece with lyrics in the songs even referring to notable parts from the franchise.  

The movie was able to capture the pop culture aspect by utilizing members of the media, like ESPN television personality Max Kellerman, who commentates the fights both in the movie and in the real sports world.

Even though “Creed 2” is the fifth movie in the Rocky franchise, it transcends all of its predecessors. It is able to blend the nostalgic experience of “Rocky IV” perfectly with a brand new plotline that shows the humane aspect behind some of the main characters. With very few dull moments and a seamless tie to pop culture, this movie is a must-see.