The Australian - - ARTS -

Creed II (M) Four decades af­ter the orig­i­nal Rocky, we are up to the eighth movie, Creed II, in which for­mer heavy­weight box­ing cham­pion Rocky Bal­boa (Sylvester Stal­lone) is long re­tired, a wid­ower and a grand­fa­ther. Rocky’s great ri­val Apollo Creed is dead, hav­ing been beaten to death dur­ing a bout in Rocky IV (1985). His fighter son, Ado­nis Creed (Michael B. Jor­dan), who we met in the pre­vi­ous movie, Creed (2015), has dad on his mind and Rocky in his cor­ner as his trainer and de facto fa­ther. The doped-up Soviet boxer who killed Ado­nis’s fa­ther, Ivan Drago (Dolph Lund­gren), is still alive. He has a son, too, Vik­tor Drago (Flo­rian Mun­teanu). Ob­vi­ously the two boys are go­ing to fight. It more or less works, though there are a few still mo­ments. But when the quiet ends and the fight be­gins, it looks su­perb un­der Kramer Mor­gen­thau’s cam­er­a­work. I don’t think I have sat be­fore a box­ing film where the punches felt harder, even 10 rows back from the screen. STEPHEN ROMEI

Nor­mandy Nude (Nor­mandie nue) (M) Nor­mandy Nude is a very un­even com­edy from French di­rec­tor Philippe Le Guay. It’s set in a small farm­ing com­mu­nity where times are hard; meat and milk prices have plum­meted, and the lo­cals blame the su­per­mar­ket chains and the com­pe­ti­tion from farm­ers in Ger­many and Ro­ma­nia for their dif­fi­cul­ties. A cel­e­brated Amer­i­can pho­tog­ra­pher, New­man — an un­likely role for Bri­tish ac­tor Toby Jones — who spe­cialises in pho­tograph­ing large groups of naked peo­ple, ex­presses a wish to stage one of his mass nude events in a lo­cal meadow. The mayor (Fran­cois Cluzet) is en­thu­si­as­tic, oth­ers less so, and the film ex­plores at length these dif­fer­ences of opin­ion. The nu­dity, which mostly comes at the end, is pho­tographed in long shot, so no­body is likely to be of­fended by it. Nor­mandy Nude, de­spite some mi­nor plea­sures, is pretty in­sipid. DAVID STRAT­TON

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