Lincoln High School Statesman

‘Creed 2’ knocks all expectations out of the park

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‘Creed 2’ knocks all expectations out of the park

Creed 2 is the eighth film in the Rocky franchise.

Creed 2 is the eighth film in the Rocky franchise.

Creative Commons

Creed 2 is the eighth film in the Rocky franchise.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons

Creed 2 is the eighth film in the Rocky franchise.

Xander Donahue, Staff Writer

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The stakes could not  have been higher. But, even with a new director, renewed characters and a risky story, “Creed 2” knocks all expectations out of the park.

Despite this being the eighth film in the “Rocky” franchise, “Creed 2” still offers a new and exciting story while also paying homage to the original “Rocky” movies.  The film brings back the infamous and terrifying character Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren). New to the scene, however, is his son, Viktor (Florian Munteanu),who is bloodthirsty and eager to step into the ring. Viktor Drago challenges Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) to a fight, but Creed struggles with just what he should do.

On one hand, Creed wants to avenge his father, Apollo, who was killed during a fight with Drago 30 years before the film takes place. But Rocky Balboa, Apollo’s  trainer, has his doubts about Creed’s intentions and the fight itself. The young boxer struggles to find what he wants in his career, while also dealing with the hardships and barriers that come into his normal everyday life.

Some people were skeptical about the film before its release. Original director of “Creed”, Ryan Coogler, was not set to direct the much anticipated sequel. Thankfully, the new and final director, Steven Caple Jr., definitely lived up to Coogler’s first film. Even more impressive is the fact that “Creed 2” is only Caple’s second full- length film. Caple’s directing is so spot on that most would think he is an industry veteran..

Part of what makes this film so good is the fact that it does not just focus on Creed and his family. Both Ivan and Viktor are given fully developed storylines that explain their intentions. The humanization of the once-hated Drago family makes it hard to decide who you should be cheering for.

Like the Drago backstory, much of the film was incredibly emotional. I myself was not expecting to tear up during a boxing movie, yet there I was trying to pretend like I just had something in my eyes. The many emotional situations that the characters found themselves in were not only powerful, but also relatable. Some of these moments, however, were downplayed by the screenplay. The pacing was not bad by any means, but it definitely could have been better in some parts of the film. Genuinely well written scenes were overshadowed by the trite and sometimes awkward lines that were sprinkled throughout the film.

A very surprising part of this movie, however, was how well the actors fit their roles. Michael B. Jordan absolutely brings down the house in his role as Adonis Creed. Jordan brings a certain level of maturity to the role while also keeping that smug, stoic boxer attitude. The way in which the character matures throughout the film is aided by Jordan’s spot on acting and his noticeable dedication to the role. Though Jordan’s performance was amazing, Sylvester Stallone comes in at a close second in terms of acting chops. Stallone’s portrayal of the former heavyweight champion, Rocky, is still fresh and enjoyable 42 years after the characters debut. His charm and wit help elevate his presence every scene he’s in.

Like Stallone, the music in “Creed 2” was reminiscent of the early “Rocky” movies. The music was composed by Ludwig Göransson, a native-Swede and frequent Coogler collaborator. Göransson’s score features the memorable themes from “Rocky” while also mixing in his original music, a technique used in other franchise reboots like Star Wars. The music captures the film’s essence through lyrical and orchestral lines, but it also keeps the overall feel of the movie hip and “new” with its hypnotic trap beats and heavily bass-boosted bangers.

Nearly every aspect of this movie was good, if not great. The acting was intense and powerful, the story was original while also staying faithful to the regular “Rocky” formula, the directing was great and the music was superb. “Creed 2” entertains on all levels and is a great fit for anybody looking to enjoy a great movie.

 

Corrections made 12/03/18

Edits by Kroeze and fixed title. 

Author
Xander Donahue, Staff Writer

Alexander Donahue is a senior at LHS and a member of various prestigious music groups across the state. He hopes to someday have a bachelor's in music...

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