CREED II (M)
RETAINS THE TITLE OF EVERYONE’S FAVOURITE GLOVE STORY, US, 130 MIN
Just so we have our movie maths straight, this second Creed instalment is also the eighth chapter in the Rocky saga, a melodramatic collection of hard-fought wins and heartbreaking losses stretching all the way back to 1976. While this sequel isn’t quite as fresh or fleet of foot as its predecessor, it still lands telling blows in all the right places, and ends with its arms held aloft in triumph. Now the undisputed world champ, brilliant boxer Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) is still young, but not so hungry. Perhaps a grudge match against Ukrainian man-mountain Viktor Drago – son of Ivan (Dolph Lundgren), the notorious fighter who killed his father – might remotivate our hero? His veteran trainer, the Italian Stallion himself, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), is not so sure. The franchise formula of an underdog overcoming impossible odds gets a few mild tweaks, but nothing that will scare diehard fans away. They’ll be too busy steeling themselves for the cracking stoush that awaits when the bell rings for the final act.